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Retail associations: Urgent appeal for the resumption of business and work for the fully vaccinated

PETALING JAYA (Sept 7): Several commercial associations have urged the government to reopen all sectors of the economy, especially for those who are fully vaccinated to be present at workplaces without the need to obtain approvals from the relevant authorities.

"The fully vaccinated numbers should be excluded from the existing maximum of 60% of total employees allowed to go back physically to work," said Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK) president Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok in a joint open letter to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today.

Teo added that the same could be applied to government sectors as well to prevent backlogs.

Plus, there should be no distinction on whether any sectors are deemed as ‘essential’ or not, as they are already playing an essential role in the supply chain, said Teo.

He was speaking on behalf of other associations such as the Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO), Malaysia REIT Managers Association (MRMA), Malaysian Association of Theme Park and Family Attractions (MATFA) and the Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE).

Since August 16, authorities have been allowing more sectors in the retail industry to reopen, with special concessions being given for fully vaccinated individuals to shop under certain categories and also to dine-in.

"The ability of employers to revive their businesses back to normal and pay salaries will, in turn, encourage spending into the domestic economic systems and create the much-needed multiplier effect for the overall rapid revival of our country’s economy," said Teo.

The associations also supported the recent announcement by Khairy that Covid-19 will be endemic, deeming it a realistic move.

"We are also very uplifted that the country’s overall vaccination rate is now at 68% of our adult population, with 95.7% having been achieved in the Klang Valley," said Teo.

He also shared similar sentiments on the recent updates in the MySejahtera app which now displays more accurate information such as vaccination status.

"With this step, MySejahtera will now have the final say in determining the admission of ‘safe’ individuals to all businesses, including shopping malls and retail as per the SOPs, as well as office premises and eliminate all fears of the people to go to work and shop and go about their daily lives.

"We believe that this is absolutely in line with the vaccination privilege and endemic concept and we look forward to [the Health Minister's] expeditious consideration and recommendation to the authorities and the appropriate announcement in due course," concluded Teo.

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