We do not need to remind you about Malaysians' love for food.
And while Malaysians have accepted that the new Movement Control Order (MCO) is necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus, what they can't accept is that the government is forcing their favourite restaurants to close early.
The myBurgerLab fiasco over the weekend might have forced the government's hand.
On Saturday (16 January), the popular burger joint came under fire from hungry Malaysians after they cancelled some of their orders.
According to a post on their Facebook page, myBurgerLab's branch in Bangsar received an overwhelming number of orders through its delivery partner at 7.30pm.
As the government mandated that all eateries in the country need to close by 8pm, myBurgerLab had no choice to cancel a majority of the orders.
That resulted in a huge uproar on myBurgerLab's Facebook page
, with hangry (hungry + angry, if you're not well-versed in internet slang) customers condemning the burger joint for cancelling their orders.
The drama did not end there though: delivery riders started piling outside the branch to collect the orders as late as 8.30pm.
At around 9pm, a group of enforcement officers showed up to the premise and demanded for them to close their shop.
However, myBurgerLab did not mention if they received a summons for staying open past the mandated operating hours.
On Monday (18 January), the owner of myBurgerLab, Chin Ren Yi, apologised
to those whose order was cancelled.
Chin explained that a glitch in the GrabFood app resulted in an overflowing of orders that came in late in the evening (30 to 40 orders, to be exact), hence they were forced to cancel some of the orders so that they do not violate the government's SOP.
In addition to that, the burger joint is offering free vouchers for customers who got their order cancelled after numerous complaints.
Govt reconsidering opening hours
After the whole fiasco, restaurant operators and Malaysians pleaded to the government to let eateries stay open past 8pm.
Many netizens argued that 8pm is too early for restaurants to close, as there are those who have little time to buy food due to their long working hours.
Thankfully, the government might have the plight.
The government is reportedly mulling the decision to extend the operating hours of restaurants around the country during the MCO period, Malay Mail
Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa told the news portal that both the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Security Council (NSC) are weighing the pros and cons of allowing eateries to remain open a while longer every day.
Currently, under MCO 2.0, eateries are only allowed to operate from 6am to 8pm daily. The government is looking at allowing them to open until 10pm.
“NSC and MOH are studying the pros and cons of eateries opening until 10pm. Any developments will surely be announced by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob...COVID-19 is getting more widespread.
“Limit movement, obey and enforce the SOP,” he was quoted as saying.
As of Tuesday (20 January), the entire Malaysia
has been put under the MCO, except for Sarawak.
Under the new MCO, dine-ins are no longer allowed in restaurants, only takeaways and food delivery.
Over the past week, eatery operators and the public in general have been urging the government to allow restaurants to open until 10pm so that they can get as much business as possible.
In myBurgerLab's case, that would have helped a lot.
What do you guys think? Should the government extend the operating hours of eateries beyond 6pm? Let us know your thoughts.