Home TA Online Support thriving small and medium-sized businesses

Support thriving small and medium-sized businesses

Thosai, a popular dish in Indian restaurants in Malaysia, is often cooked by migrant workers - Photograph: Wikipedia

Join us on Telegram and Instagram for the latest.

In challenging economic times, we must encourage and motivate our thriving businesspersons, writes Benedict Lopez

Last Sunday, as usual after church service, I headed to my regular Indian restaurant in Lucky Gardens, Bangsar for breakfast.

Much to my disappointment the place was closed. A notice in front read that, effective 2 January 2020, the operating hours of the restaurant would be from 11am to 11pm.

I was surprised that a thriving restaurant, whose normal operating hours previously were from 7am to midnight, had reduced its hours of business, much to the chagrin of many of its regular patrons like me.  

The following day, I spoke to the son of the owner who explained to me that the change in operating hours was due to a shortage of workers. Apparently, the restaurant is facing difficulty in obtaining approval to recruit foreign workers. 

Many restaurants in Kuala Lumpur depend on migrant workers as many Malaysian workers are just not interested in working in these restaurants. So many Malaysian restaurant owners turn to foreign workers.

Over 90% of business establishments in the country are small and medium-sized business enterprises like this restaurant, and they contribute to the economy of our country through their forward and backward linkages. It does great disservice to our country if hardworking entrepreneurs like this restaurant owner are forced to shorten their operating hours because they are unable to recruit foreign workers.

This restaurant is patronised by Malaysians of all walks of life who enjoy the delicious spread served. More importantly, it is an affordable place for ordinary Malaysians like me.

READ MORE:  Ratification of Forced Labour Protocol commendable - but more comprehensive reforms needed

I sent a text to our Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadhil regarding this matter. Hopefully, he will be able to assist the restaurant in resolving this issue.

In challenging economic times, we must encourage and motivate our thriving businesspersons. In turn, the government too will benefit from the success of their enterprises through the taxes paid by these businesses.    

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Benedict Lopez was director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Stockholm and economics counsellor at the Malaysian embassy there in 2010-2014. He covered all five Nordic countries in the course of his work. A pragmatic optimist and now an Aliran member, he believes Malaysia can provide its people with the same benefits and privileges found in the Nordic countries - not a far-fetched dream but one that he hopes will be realised in his lifetime
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x