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Tough times ahead as Banda Hilir traders close shops due to MCO

13 Jan 2021 / 10:00 H.

MELAKA, Jan 12: As the sun sets and the day fades into the night, there still are traders at Banda Hilir here who still stayed open for business in the hope of snaring a final customer before closing.

Their struggle to eke out a living will come to a halt at midnight, at least for two weeks, following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

Checks by Bernama at the popular tourist spot in Banda Hilir revealed that there were traders who closed shops earlier as the number of tourists began to dwindle following the announcement of the MCO.

Trader Ainul Shamsudin, 35, said she has finally accepted the government’s decision, which she understood was for the greater good. That said, she has yet to figure out how she will get through the next two “harrowing” weeks.

During the enforcement of the MCO and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) last year, she suffered nearly RM20,000 in losses as she was forced to throw away various traditional food and kuih that had turned bad.

“Usually my food products can only last between two or three weeks. I had to donate part of my products to neighbours and friends while discarding those that had turned bad.

“Due to the fluctuating number of tourist arrivals, I decided not to sell too much since last December to prepare for any eventuality,” she said when met by Bernama here this evening.

Ainul, who has sold her wares here for over 10 years, said although times were difficult, she was thankful for the support received from her family to plod on and hoped that everything would return to normal soon.

Things are different for Nor Haslinda Ani, 39, who switched to online sales to add to her income to support her family.

“Although it isn’t much, the sale of clothes online can to some extent cover the affected income because shops here can’t be open for tourists,” she said.

Meanwhile, Munirati Omar, 33, said she also used applications like Facebook and WhatsApp to sell and receive orders for her kuih to boost her income.- Bernama

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