Prioritise Malaysian tourism workers for Covid-19 vaccine, say stakeholders
Over a hundred hotels in Malaysia have shut down since March last year, and more premises are expected to cease operations in the months to come. The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), in a statement, said more hotel closure is a “harsh reality” brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The association is calling on the government to help the Malaysian tourism and hospitality industry survive the pandemic. MAH had presented a 19-point proposal to the Tourism, Art and Culture Ministry recently.
Some of the proposals include higher wage subsidy, utility discount and loan moratorium. MAH president Datuk N. Subramaniam said the government needs to inject even more assistance to keep the industry competitive. MAH also proposed to the government to put the tourism and hospitality workforce on the immunisation programme’s priority list after frontliners – alongside high-risk groups – to prepare and assure the world that Malaysia is ready to receive international tourists once the borders reopen.
That sentiment to vaccinate tourism workers is echoed by Oyo vice president (Malaysia & Singapore) Tan Ming Luk. “With vaccine supply initially limited, availability to frontliners in essential sectors including hospitality will be critical for keeping the economy going and communities running, by protecting the personnel and reducing the likelihood of crippling clusters emanating from the workplace, ” he said.
According to Tan, the hospitality industry has not been idle during this pandemic. “We have been supporting communities in Malaysia, providing places to rest for weary essential workers such as hospital workers, caregivers and first responders, as well as a temporary home base for those who live too far from their workplace, especially those who rely on public transportation with reduced service hours during ‘MCO 2.0’, ” he said.
Source: The Star Online (2021, February 24) Prioritise Malaysian Tourism Workers for Covid-19 Vaccine, Say Stakeholders by Chester Chin.
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