PETALING JAYA (June 28): Mall operators have expressed their worries on the blanket lockdown of the entire nation which will further dampen the economic condition. 

In a joint media statement today, the five associations – namely the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, Malaysia Retailers Association, Malaysia Retail Chain Association, Bumiputera Retailers Organisation and the Malaysia REIT Managers Association – said they are deeply disappointed with the extension of the National Recovery Plan Phase One despite the many submissions they have forwarded, pointing out that the threshold to exit each phase is arbitrarily based on set absolute numbers of Covid-19 cases without any scientific basis.

It said that the rationale in imposing a blanket lockdown of the entire nation instead of by locality or sectors that are infected with clusters is a total overkill, which is unnecessarily causing further damage to the economy, especially punishing those sectors that have diligently complied with standard operating procedures (SOP) and achieving extremely low incidences.

“The Ministry of Health data revealed that retail and shopping sectors, including outside shopping areas, contributed merely 0.8% of all cases in May 2021, even prior to the Full Movement Control Order which started on June 1,” said the statement.

It highlighted that the figures have significantly improved, and the extremely low figures testify to the retail and mall industries' strict adherence to the SOP. Thus, they should not be unduly penalised with prohibition against operating. 

Despite its efforts in full compliance with the SOP and maintaining a good record, the shopping mall and retail industry feels it is again being unfairly dealt with this unjustified terminal punishment instead.

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