'I can't afford to close, thank goodness for deliveries': Malaysian hawker

Hawkers and eateries, except for those doing deliveries and takeaways, are required to close from March 18, 2020, until the end of the month.
Hawkers and eateries, except for those doing deliveries and takeaways, are required to close from March 18, 2020, until the end of the month.PHOTO: REUTERS

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Closing is not an option for Mr Jimmy Ooi Cheng Siew, 48, a hawker in Malaysia who specialises in western breakfast meals.

As Malaysians woke up to the movement control order announced by the government on Monday night (March 16), petty traders like Mr Ooi are wondering how they are going to make ends meet without selling.

"I cannot afford to close," he says simply.

"I make something like RM40 in profit a day nowadays. How can I close?

"I must sell every day," said Mr Ooi, who runs a stall in Pulau Tikus here.

He said he was told that eateries were allowed to operate for deliveries only, so he was glad he had signed up with Foodpanda a few months ago.

"If the police or any authorities come by, I will tell them I am just cooking for deliveries," he said.

To stop Covid-19 from spreading, the government has issued a restricted movement order.

All government offices and private sector businesses, except for certain essential services, are required to close from Wednesday until the end of the month.

This includes hawkers and eateries, except for those doing deliveries and takeaways.