KUALA LUMPUR – “We work for food, not to live luxuriously. It’ll be enough if we can pay for the water, electricity and rentals. The situation without customers now is detrimental to us,” said a sales assistant at [email protected] MARA, a boutique selling headscarves.
According to Khairul Anuar Sarip, 48, the extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya until 9 November is truly a test for business owners as they are out of their wits.
He said, most of the traders there depend on the presence of customers who mostly work at the MARA Building and offices nearby.
“Most people are working from home, thus, who would be here to shop? It is true that the economic sector are allowed to operate during the CMCO but there are limited movement of people here.
“Yesterday, only one customer entered the boutique but did not buy anything. There was also one today. How could my employer and the business owners here continue their operations in this situation? As an employee, we have to surrender to whatever situation which could happen after this,” he said during an interview with MalaysiaGazette.
Meanwhile, food trader, Nur Alana Fitra Halim, 26, said that there is a steep reduction in the number of customers compared to the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.
“Businesses are badly affected as there is no visitors at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) and I’ve lost amount 80 percent of my daily income. Small traders like us truly feel the impact. What can we do? This is our only way to earn a living.
“I don’t know when the Covid-19 pandemic would ease with the worrying increment in the number of Covid-19 positive cases although most of them are in Sabah and prison. We truly hope that the situation can recover and we can live our lives as we used to be,” she said.
Meanwhile, a trader selling apam balik, Ramli Kadir, 54, said that most of his friends chose not to open their stalls after the CMCO was announced on 14 October as they could not continue to suffer the loss.
However, Ramli had no choice, as his business is the source of income for him to support his wife and four children.
“Many refused to open their stalls, otherwise, they would be around here. They said that it would be a wasted effort anyway. They’re unable to recover their capital. I had to continue to do my business. I really depend on this income.
“I hope that the government would visit small traders like us. It would be great if we have some assistance,” said the man who has been doing business for over 20 years.
Meanwhile, a bag and accessory shop owner at Jalan TAR, Alvin Kang, 60, said that the situation faced by the business owners currently is the same as what they used to face in early May when they started to operate after closing for two months due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“The situation now is the same as after MCO. There is no customer at all. Perhaps one or two but that is rare.
“The shopping centres are also having less customers, it would be worse for us. The people have many restrictions on leaving home. Young children, far from Kuala Lumpur, cannot travel inter-district.
“If this go on, we would die,” he said.
Yesterday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster), Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the CMCO in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor would be extended to another 14 days until 9 November. –MalaysiaGazette