Bullish Pop Meals to open more outlets next month

Dining in is very much alive.

With this in mind and coupled with a positive outlook due to the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines, Pop Meals is set to open at least 20 new outlets in peninsular Malaysia by the end of the year.

Eight of its dine-in outlets, including in Wangsa Maju, Kajang and Shah Alam, will be fully operational by the end of next month.

At present, it has two outlets – in Cyberjaya and Sunway – and a handful of central kitchens in the Klang Valley.

“The pandemic is not going to last forever. Things are getting better. We are confident things will be back to normal once a majority of Malaysians get vaccinated,” said Pop Meals communications manager Nurul Jamaludin.

“We are confident business will take off.”

Nurul added business has been “going well” as the company has been focusing on food delivery since 2015.

The Movement Control Order enforced in March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic followed by subsequent movement restrictions saw eateries relying heavily on delivery services.

“Now we are shifting … dine-in will be our main business model. Things are going to get better. People want to dine in again.

“There are also plans to expand abroad in the next few years …. we are looking at the Asia Pacific region first.”

The intention to grow beyond the nation’s borders resulted in the company changing its name to Pop Meals, short for popular meals, in November. The company was previously known as dahmakan.

Nurul was met after Pop Meals pledged RM5,000 and 1,000 cutlery sets worth RM23,900 to the National Press Club of Malaysia (NPC) for its Journalist Welfare Fund at the Cyberjaya outlet this morning.

Present were NPC president Datuk Ahirudin Attan, deputy president Haresh Deol, honorary secretary Zaidi Azmi, honorary assistant treasurer Jaiarajo Letchumanan, trustee Datuk Nuraina Samad and committee member Pearl Lee.

Nurul said the company recognised journalists as frontliners and hopes its contribution will enable the club to assist more media personnel in need.

Ahirudin, who is the executive advisor and executive director at Petra News, is glad Pop Meals reached out to NPC.

“Many journalists have lost their jobs in recent times and in the past year, there have been those who offered help to the NPC. Today, it’s Pop Meals,” said Ahirudin.

“At least we know there are people who want to support journalists.”

He also called on media practitioners who want to do something for the industry to engage with the club.

“Come to our clubhouse (at Jalan Tangsi, Kuala Lumpur) … treat the NPC as a one-stop centre for journalists, especially during the pandemic.”

Established in 2006, the Journalist Welfare Fund is to help journalists who face illnesses or financial difficulties. The club also reaches out to the next-of-kin when a member passes on.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

COVID-19 PATIENTS SHOULD DELAY SURGERY TO REDUCE DEATH RISK

Surgery should be delayed for seven weeks after a patient tests positive for Covid-19 as operations that take place up to six weeks after diagnosis are associated with an increased risk of death, according to a new global study.

Researchers discovered that patients are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to die after their operations if the procedure takes place in the six weeks following a positive diagnosis for SARS-CoV2.

Over 25,000 surgeons worked together as part of the COVIDSurg Collaborative to collect data from 140,727 patients in 1,674 hospitals across 116 countries including Australia, Brazil, China, India, US and Malaysia.

University of Birmingham’s Aneel Bhangu, co-author of the research, said: “Decisions regarding delaying surgery should be tailored for each patient since the possible advantages of a minimum seven-week delay following SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis must be balanced against the potential risks of delay.

“For some urgent surgeries, for example for advanced tumours, surgeons and patients may decide that the risks of delay are not justified.”

National study lead for Malaysia, and College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia president Prof Dr April Camilla Roslani welcomed the findings.

“It is, however, important to contextualise the application of these findings. Life-saving surgery should not be delayed, and the impact of mass vaccination will need to be evaluated in due course,” Dr April added.

NEARLY 170,000 IN MALAYSIA HAVE BEEN VACCINATED

Health director-general Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah said 166,363 people in Malaysia have received the Covid-19 vaccine up to March 8.

Sarawak leads with 25,271 people vaccinated, followed by Pahang (15,521), Selangor (15,357), Johor (13,746) and Kuala Lumpur (13,681), Sabah (13,474), Kelantan (13,149), Perak (12,952), Kedah (9,358), Terengganu (9,081), Penang (6,487), Negeri Sembilan (5,981), Melaka (4,411), Perlis (3,062), Putrajaya (2,573) and Labuan (2,259).

FORMER ANUGERAH TOKOH WANITA RECIPIENT SUKUMARI DIES

Puan Sri Sukumari Sekhar, the founding deputy president of the National Council of Women’s Organisation Malaysia, died last night. She was 87.

Sukumari, the wife of the late Tan Sri Dr B.C. Sekhar who was the former Rubber Research Institute chairman, passed away at Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur at 11.20pm. She was cremated at the Jalan Loke Yew crematorium this afternoon.

In October 2012, Sukumari received the Anugerah Tokoh Wanita from the Prime Minister’s Office in conjunction with National Women’s Day celebrations.

She leaves behind four children – Petra Group chairman and group chief executive Datuk Vinod, Jayan, Sujatha and Gopinath.

NEW KL EDUCATION DEPT CHIEF ZAINAL ABAS PAYS TRIBUTE TO TEACHERS

Zainal Abas speaks to Twentytwo13 about his new role as Kuala Lumpur Education Department director while paying tribute to teachers who go the extra mile in making schools fun and safe.