KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Three major supermarket operators have pleaded with Malaysians not to engage in panic buying over the government’s move to stop all non-essential services and activities from tomorrow until March 31.

Mydin founder Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin took to Instagram to post a photograph of panic buying at one of his company’s outlets and urged Malaysians to refrain from joining it.

“Dear fellow Malaysians, this photograph is one of #mydin store packed since morning, let’s not do panic buying, our suppliers have assured us there is adequate supply of essentials to meet our requirements, let’s be considerate, we are all in this together...” he said.

He also said Mydin will also open a half hour earlier each day specifically for senior citizens to purchase their essential supplies.

Those aged 60 and over, especially those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and coronary issues, are especially vulnerable to Covid-19.

The Jaya Grocer chain also announced a similar seniors-only period between 9.30am and 10am each morning.

Separately, the Village Grocer chain also urged Malaysians not to engage in panic buying and hoarding, and to yield to the elderly in their shopping.

Ben’s Independent Grocer followed suit with the same message, thanking patrons in advance for making way for seniors and young children while reminding the public that there was no need to rush.

KK Super Mart, a 24-hour convenience store and mini-mart with over 400 outlets nationwide, announced on Facebook yesterday that it has replenished stocks to cope with demands amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Don’t panic, guys,” the post read.

The government announced a “restriction of movement” order last night that requires all non-essential activities to close for a two-week period from tomorrow until March 31.

Supermarkets and others retailing essential items will remain open and the government has assured Malaysians there is no need for hoarding.

Local individual movement is also not restricted but mass gatherings are not allowed.