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300,000 Mall Employees Lost Their Jobs In The Past 16 Months, Mall, Retail Associations Say

300,000 Mall Employees Lost Their Jobs In The Past 16 Months, Mall, Retail Associations Say

It will be worse if they can’t open by July.

Hakim Hassan

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Up to 30% of shops in malls have been closed with some 300,000 personnel losing their jobs during the past 16 months.

NST reports that if the mall and retail industry, including street front shops, are not reopened by early July, another 50% of the remainder will be gone for good.

These closures may include prominent domestic and international retail brands with more employees at risk of being laid off.

In an open letter from the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO) and the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Electrical Home Appliances Dealers’ Association (SWEDA) to the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, they also cautioned that once international retailers exit from Malaysia, it’ll be difficult to attract them to return.

With these massive lay-offs and shop closures, the entire retail and shopping malls industries will be grievously and critically damaged and will need massive efforts and time to rebuild its ecosystem, or it will permanently close and the retail supply chain will be deeply fractured. Any prolongation in reopening will cause irreparable damage to both the retail and shopping mall industry which may not recover for the next few years, leaving us far behind in the economic recovery process.

Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO) and the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Electrical Home Appliances Dealers’ Association (SWEDA) via NST
Two-hour rule for shopping complex outings utterly impractical, malls  association laments | Malaysia | Malay Mail
Credit: Malay Mail

MCO bad for business

Shopping mall and retail industries associations are also appealing to the government to look at the data and incidences of Covid-19 cases by economic sector and by locality.

They said the current MCO 3.0, which will end on June 28, has been devastating to businesses and also the economy.

The associations also touched on the recently-announced National Recovery Plan, which is based on Covid-19 numbers as being “too broad-brushed” and imprecise as it could result in unnecessary losses.

Citing the Health Ministry’s data, they said that the retail and shopping sector contributed only 0.8% of overall cases in May.

They believe that the retail and shopping sector should be reopened immediately to provide essential and other services to the community without risk of infectivity.

Activities that are not able to comply with the social distancing requirements and crowding have already been listed in the negative list, while congregation and promotional events have been barred. The public have also cut down their mall visits to a maximum of two hours while diligently practising physical distancing and wearing masks at all times.

Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO) and the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Electrical Home Appliances Dealers’ Association (SWEDA) via NST

The associations also said that malls only allow entry of ‘Low-Risk’ individuals as indicated by their MySejahtera and whose body temperature is below 37.5 degrees Celsius.

Therefore, malls are safe places to be and serve as avenues for some relief, both physically and mentally, while shopping for necessities. We appeal to the government to take all these positive factors into account in the upcoming review and allow the immediate reopening of all trades in the malls, except for those in the negative list.

Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO) and the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Electrical Home Appliances Dealers’ Association (SWEDA) via NST

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