“We just want to earn a living. We are not asking for a handout.”
That was the main point of a gathering of pub owners, musicians, disc jockeys, talent agencies and entertainment outlet owners today.
The gathering, attended by 67 people, saw them draw up a list of reasons why pubs and other entertainment outlets should be allowed to operate.
Pubs have been barred from operating since the country entered the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18.
The gathering, organised by Thrive Talent Tank said 1.2 million people are affected by the closure. If each were earning a minimum of RM1,200 per month, it means the total income loss is at least RM1.44 billion a month although the figure is much higher.
The 1.2 million employees comprise musicians, disc jockeys, sound engineers, kitchen staff, waiters and waitresses throughout the country.
“We are trying to find a solution to reopen these businesses,” said Thrive Talent Tank managing director Sivabalan Shanmuga Sundram.
“We are not here to condemn the government or anyone but to help streamline the rules and to avoid confusion.”
The issue of what constitutes entertainment is also blurred.
Outlets with restaurant licences and liquor licences can operate but outlets with an entertainment licence such as pubs, bars and nightclubs have to remain closed.
“In Kuala Lumpur, you need a separate licence if you have a pool table but in Selangor, the pool table licence is bundled into the entertainment licence.
“That means an outlet which doesn’t have live acts but has pool tables, still can’t reopen,” said Sivabalan.
He added all these outlets have strict SOPs and restaurants which have since opened, have done so.
“But if you go to the pasar malam, there is no physical distancing like in these outlets.”
The gathering also asked why indoor busking is allowed but not live performances.
Sivabalan added the musicians, who are mainly freelancers, do not qualify for any of the government aid to help those affected economically by Covid-19.
Ruzlan Omar, drummer and bandleader of Sons of Adam, said he hopes a quick solution is found.
“I’m already a ‘warga emas’ but music and performances are my passion and I love doing it. We need to convince the government opening pubs and nightspots makes economical sense not just for people like me but also for the country.”
Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.
RINA HARUN NEGOTIATING SETTLEMENT BUT BANKRUPTCY NOTICE WILL STILL BE SERVED
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun was not in court today for a judgment debtor summons hearing regarding non-payment of RM1.9 million to a France-based production company.
The Titiwangsa MP, however, issued three cheques totalling close to RM700,000 to Sarl Novovision lawyers in a bid to settle the almost decade-long debt.
The dues are over the purchase of comedy shows and documentaries under the comedy genre.
Lawyer Mark Ho, who is representing Sarl Novovision, said: “We have agreed not to apply for a warrant of arrest on condition that we are heading towards a settlement.”
On the bankruptcy action against Rina, Ho said: “I have requested Rina’s lawyers to assist in effecting the service of the bankruptcy notice.”
CONNECTIVITY PROBLEM IN PITAS IS REAL, SAYS SABAH EDUCATOR
Early childhood educator Nelvianna Masandul says she doesn’t know Veveonah Mosibin but can empathise with the latter’s connectivity issues in Pitas, ranked the poorest district in Sabah.
Nelvianna, said she feels for 18-year-old Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) student Veveonah Mosibin.
Veveonah, from Kampung Sapatalang in Pitas, gained fame on June 13 when she uploaded a video to YouTube showing how she had to climb a tree to get a strong Internet connection to sit for online examinations.
Meanwhile, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah in a statement said the government’s initiative to enhance connectivity in Sabah through the National Digital Network and Universal Service Provision (PPS) also benefits residents in Pitas.
He said under the programme, 17 communication towers were allocated for Pitas, with seven already completed. Two towers are under construction and eight under planning.
According to Saifuddin, one tower which is under construction in Kampung Sepatalang will be completed next year.
TWO NEW CHARGES AWAIT GUAN ENG ON FRIDAY
Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is expected to be charged at the Butterworth Sessions Court on Friday for dishonest misappropriation of property.
The matter was disclosed by Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharudin Wan Ladin during a court mention regarding Lim’s corruption case related to the Penang undersea tunnel project at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court before judge Azura Alwi.
Wan Shaharudin said notice has been served to Lim regarding the new charges which will be framed under Section 403 of the Penal Code. The matter was confirmed by Lim’s lawyer Gobind Singh Deo.
Outside court, Lim, 59, said the timing of the new charges against him was politically motivated.
He added that as the charges against him come on Friday, it is possible he may not be able to attend nomination day on Saturday for the Sabah state elections.
‘HOLD GE-15 AFTER JULY NEXT YEAR TO ENABLE YOUNG TO VOTE’
Senator Ismail Yusof suggested that the 15th general election be held after July 2021 to enable those aged a minimum of 18 can vote.
Speaking in Dewan Negara, Ismail said the suggestion to the government is consistent with the implementation of the automatic voter registration system which will be implemented in July.
Ismail’s comments come following a statement by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Shabudin Yahaya that 4.2 million people aged above 21 have yet to register as voters.