PETALING JAYA (May 20): A full lockdown will not be sustainable as it will cripple the shopping industry for good as the entire industry has already been struggling valiantly for survival for the past 14 months, said The Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPKM).

In a media statement on May 19, PPKM expressed their concerns on the recent news of "full scale" lockdown in view of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases.

It said that another lockdown as experience has shown globally that the results are impermanent while the damage to the business and economy is far more severe.

"Shopping malls and retailers serve essential needs and services and must be allowed to operate. Instead, we would advocate to allow all existing businesses to continue operations amid existing restrictions,” it said.

It added that most businesses and the public are complying well with the SOPs such as wearing masks and physical distancing to be practised with Malaysians being quite compliant and the current spikes have driven more to comply diligently and voluntarily.

“It is observed that enforcement has been further enhanced and so long the SOPs are clear and unambiguous and not left to the interpretation of enforcement personnel, the public are generally heeding the instructions to follow. We again wish to emphasise and reiterate that the safety of shoppers is top priority at shopping malls and have further augmented safety SOPs by only allowing entry to low risk shoppers as determined by MySejahtera,” it said.

PPKM has also called for the ramping up of the vaccination programme as soon as possible to achieve herd immunity with the focus to be on sourcing adequate vaccines, speedy delivery with sound logistics to enable vaccination to be effected efficiently.

Currently, the businesses community have proposed for on-site vaccination so that interruptions to business operations are kept to the minimum.

“We are glad that this on-site proposal is currently being finalised with the business sector contributing towards the logistics and premises and manpower while the government provides the vaccines. This is a win-win collaboration. Once this is rolled-out, we strongly believe that it will also speed up the vaccination programme with maximum efficiency and with minimal loss of productivity,” it added.

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