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Samenta Central chairman Datuk William Ng urged the government to consider instead the reopening of all economic sectors when 80 per cent of each state’s population has been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Samenta Central chairman Datuk William Ng urged the government to consider instead the reopening of all economic sectors when 80 per cent of each state’s population has been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Retail businesses along with those dealing with food and beverages must remain vigilant when reopening for physical sales, the Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (Samenta) advised today.

In a statement, Samenta Central chairman Datuk William Ng said this was especially important as businesses were also responsible for customers’ actions and compliance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“In the previous RMCO, some businesses have been fined the maximum RM50,000 for non-compliance of SOP by their customers,” he said, referring to the recovery movement control order that was previously enforced.

“Given the punitive nature of the fine, it is sending mixed signals to the business community,” he added.

This comes after caretaker Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced this evening that dining-in at restaurants would be allowed again starting tomorrow.

Other businesses such as clothing stores and electronics stores were also allowed to reopen from August 16.

Ng, who is also Samenta’s policy and government relations chairman, added that the current multi-phase approach of reopening economic sectors was confusing to businesses and burdened “already overworked” enforcement agencies.

He urged the government to consider instead the reopening of all economic sectors when 80 per cent of each state’s population has been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

“Lastly, we urge all SMEs to exercise caution as they reopen their businesses, to follow all SOPs strictly and if in doubt, to take their own preventive actions,” he said.

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