Oldest Nasi Kandar restaurant facing manpower shortage

Photo used for illustration purposes only

GEORGE TOWN – The Hameediyah Restaurant, Malaysia’s oldest nasi kandar restaurant, is facing a shortage of workers due to the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO), which has since been lifted.

Its owner, Ahamed Seeni Pakir, said that the chain restaurants in Penang currently operate at nearly half of their overall manpower.

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He also said that, as interstate travel is now allowed, the restaurant is looking to have more hands on deck to cater for an influx of visitors to the state.

“We have tried to hire Malaysians here by offering them a monthly salary of RM1,800 and other benefits, but they are not interested in taking the job offer,” he told reporters here today.

Meanwhile, the Indian Muslim Community Organisation Malaysia president, Mohamed Rizwan Abdul Ghafoor Khan, said that Hameediyah was among of more than 200 nasi kandar restaurants in Penang currently facing understaffing issues.

He explained that the manpower shortage was due to their foreign workers being unable to come back to Malaysia after they had returned to their home country before the first MCO had been implemented last year.

“Before the pandemic, there were about 40,000 workers, both local and foreigners combined, but after the pandemic, we have only about 20,000 workers,” he said.

He hoped that the federal government would look into bringing the foreign workers back to Malaysia, so that restaurants are able to cater for more customers and ease the restaurants’ burden.