SHAH ALAM, May 5 — The Selangor government announced today that all Ramadan bazaars in districts under the movement control order must stop operating from May 8.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the date was chosen to allow the bazaar operators and traders some grace period to clear their existing stock.
He also announced that restaurant dine-ins as well as hotel buffets would not be allowed beginning tomorrow
He said three parameters were used to reach a consensus with the federal government for the enforcement of the MCO in Hulu Langat, Petaling, Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat and Sepang.
“I have mentioned about these three parameters in several press conferences. Firstly is the steep increment in cases till it hits more than 1,000 cases or four digits. Secondly, the numbers and those who are found to be positive, from the close contact tracing from MySejahtera, found that they have visited shopping malls, visited Ramadan bazaars, visited Hari Raya bazaars, whereby the total number of visitors within a period between three and four days, together with these patients, hit hundreds of thousands.
“Thirdly, most importantly, is because of the critical situation of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in several hospitals which has hit over 50 to 60 per cent and maybe could hit 80 per cent at that time. In fact, during the tabling, the director of the Selangor state health department, Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman said that the ICU bed situation has never happened since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in Selangor.
“We made the decision that all Ramadan bazaars (in districts under MCO) are barred from operating in Selangor beginning Saturday (May 8, 2021). This is to give the opportunity to the management of the Ramadan bazaars and booth owners of the Ramadan bazaars to settle some of their tasks, especially to maintain and manage the stocks which they have gathered for that duration,” he said.
Amirudin said that the decision considered that the traders would have already been operating for 25 days, come this Friday.
“I reckon we are not that cruel or forced to shut the operation of Ramadan bazaars, since they have operated for 25 days,” he said.
Amirudin said that Raya bazaars (bazaar Aidilfitri) and night markets are allowed, however, to operate throughout the MCO period until 10pm, subject to strict conditions.
Among the rules include limited numbers of visitors subject to the capacity of the buildings or premises. He said that the management of the business venues must take responsibility to ensure crowd control measures are done. Amirudin said that any violation to this rule would lead to immediate closure.
He said a queue numbering system would also be made mandatory so that the exact number of visitors to each location can be traced. Children below the age of 12 are banned from entering the said venues.
Amirudin said that all bazaar operators must also appoint a monitoring officer, which will be informed to the local councils, to constantly remind visitors to the bazaars to mind the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
He said that the move was important as the state government noticed non-compliance among members of the public, with some bringing young children along.
“Fourthly, dine-ins are not allowed in all restaurants, hotels, including Ramadan buffet activities beginning tomorrow, as we found that such places are a cause for gatherings, and restaurants, grocery stores, petrol kiosks can operate from 6am till midnight. This is a little different from the SOPs. The SOPs allowed until only 10pm, we extended it until midnight, considering that in this Ramadan month, there are needs to sahur and others.
During the press conference, Amirudin also announced a RM500 aid for about 11,000 Ramadan bazaar traders affected by the announcement today, ordering them to close operations this Saturday,
“It is estimated that we will allocated over RM5 million and God willing with the state government’s position, we are able to, and can continue this aid and support, especially for bazaar Ramadan traders whom number over 11,000 people of all bazaar Ramadan traders in Selangor,” he said.
He said the aid will be channelled after the names of the traders are received, adding that a registration system is available from before.
Amirudin said that the traders’ business permit details would also be collected from local council authorities, keyed into the said system and the aid would be banked into the traders’ bank accounts.
He said that the aid would be distributed after Hari Raya.