Caught buying from unlicensed food truck, FT minister says don’t focus on punishment during Covid-19’s trying times

Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the woman told him she earned RM500 a day from her food truck businesses, and added that he was glad she was able to make an honest living considering her age. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the woman told him she earned RM500 a day from her food truck businesses, and added that he was glad she was able to make an honest living considering her age. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa urged Malaysians to be more compassionate and less focused on punishment in response to a recent picture of him buying food from an unlicensed roadside stall while Malaysia grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also tweeted a picture of himself at the stall and his reply that he was only encouraging the food vendor to continue her business without fear of reprisal as her licence can be sorted later, following social media outcry at what was perceived to be preferential treatment.

 

“I’m aware some vendors are operating without a licence now but our philosophy should not be focused on punishment.

“A lot of people have been affected by Covid-19 by way of lost jobs and income and while the economy was slowing down, it is active now.

“This lady Cik Nah is doing everything alone after her husband died. She prepares the food at night and tries to sell it in town in the mornings and drives the truck as well.

“So in these types of cases we shouldn’t be making things difficult for them,” Annuar said in addressing the issue during his Facebook media broadcast this afternoon.

Annuar said the woman told him she earned RM500 a day from her food truck businesses, and added that he was glad she was able to make an honest living considering her age.

He also said he will deliver the business licence to the woman tomorrow morning.

“I’m not encouraging everyone to start opening their stalls without a license,” Annuar clarified.

“My message is we encourage those who want to try to earn a living in the city of Kuala Lumpur. While they must still apply for their license, it’s not necessarily you cannot totally operate without a license. Continue to work hard,” he said.

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