Report: 63pc hotel workers on unpaid leave, 120 hotels either temporarily or permanently closed, says association

A hotel employee disinfects one of the rooms at the Concorde Hotel in Shah Alam June 9, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A hotel employee disinfects one of the rooms at the Concorde Hotel in Shah Alam June 9, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — With the hotel industry suffering crippling losses due to the latest movement control order (MCO 3.0), some 63.13 per cent of workers have been put on unpaid leave. 

Speaking to Utusan Malaysia, chief executive officer of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Yap Lip Seng revealed that based on a recent survey, 44.6 per cent of hotels had decided to cut workers’ salaries and 14.06 per cent have retrenched their workforce, while another 34.69 have reduced their benefits. 

Yap said that 73.75 per cent of hotels have opted to assign workers other duties while 21.25 per cent have maintained status quo. 

According to Yap, hotels have adopted various means of cost control, based on its survey. 

“Based on MAH statistics, about 70 per cent of hotels are still operational. Some are operating as quarantine centres and the rest are dependent on customers from the medical and oil and gas sectors,’’ he said. 

“However, the occupancy rate on average does not exceed 20 per cent,’’ he said. 

The MAH survey was conducted on 320 hotels nationwide. 

According to Yap, the hospitality industry is hopeful for a targeted reopening of hotels in locations where herd immunity has been achieved.

Yap, however, said the current rate of vaccination was unsatisfactory for a full-scale reopening of the industry. 

“The hotel and tourism industry is dependent on domestic tourism for at least another year,’’ he was quoted as saying. 

Yap also pointed out that the recent Pemulih economic stimulus package was not sufficient to fulfill the needs of the tourism industry, especially hospitality. 

However, he said that the wage subsidy programme (PSU) 4.0 that was announced would come in hand, helping employers with subsidies encompassing every level of the workforce.

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