Only e-bazaars allowed during Ramadhan, says Malaysian senior minister

PUTRAJAYA (CNA) – The Malaysian Cabinet has only given its nod to e-bazaars during the fasting month for now, where orders will be placed online for food to be delivered to doorsteps, said Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Proposals for two other concepts – order and then pick up as well as drive-thru – will be fined-tuned, he said at a press conference streamed live yesterday.

“If concepts such as drive-thru are introduced, I believe many people will go out at the same time, resulting in a huge number (of vehicles on the road),” he said.

Ismail Sabri, who is also the Defence Minister, said this would complicate police enforcement as people would have more excuses to leave home.

This latest Cabinet decision came after Ismail Sabri said on Monday that all forms of Ramadhan bazaars would not be allowed in Malaysia during the movement control order (MCO), now in its third phase to rein in the spread of COVID-19.

The extended MCO will end on April 28 while the fasting month is expected to begin on April 23. Normally, Ramadhan bazaars will be set up nationwide for Muslims and non-Muslim alike to purchase various delicacies for breaking of fast or dinner.

There have been concerns of possible spread of the coronavirus at these gatherings, as healthcare workers race against the clock to treat patients and contain the disease.

Malaysia’s Senior and Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. PHOTO: BERNAMA