Traders, clients relieved book, stationery, IT shops allowed to reopen

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KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Operators of computer and telecommunication outlets as well as book and stationery shops heaved a sigh of relief when visitors thronged their shops after they were allowed to operate by the National Security Council (MKN) starting Friday (July 16).

A Bernama check on Friday found many visitors had turned up at these business premises to get and replenish items needed for learning and work.

Telecommunication company operator Mohd Habil Bujang, 21, said the response on the first day was very encouraging compared to online sales.

“Currently, telecommunication gadgets are essential items for students in schools and higher institutions of learning undergoing home-based teaching and learning (PdPR),” he told Bernama Friday.

Habil said that among the essential items which sold well were ear phones, cables and webcams to complement PdPR at home.

A stationery shop operator, Kit Liew Yong Jie, 28, said the opening of stationery shops enabled such small businesses to increase their sales besides via online.

“Online sales do not bring the same result as the actual sale at the shop because parents prefer to buy goods face-to-face.

“Our customers were given numbers as a measure to control crowding and ensure they comply with the standard operating procedure in the shop,” he said.

Only 20 customers were allowed into the premises at any one time to avoid a stationery cluster, he said.

A customer at the shop, Che Faridah Che Osman, 54, said the opening of book and stationery shops were important because parents could buy reference books, work books and other items needed by their children.

“The closing of the sector earlier burdened parents because teachers gave various exercises, for example, colouring for children.

“So, their closures were not suitable because they are essential as learning via online is still proceeding as normal,” she said.

A Bernama check also found most parents stressed on the use of smart phones compared to laptops and computers due to financial factor.

A computer company owner, Murni Abdul Kas, 32, said before the reopening, the computer service business was adversely affected.

She said this was because the shop rentals still had to be paid as usual during the closure.

She said there was also no response to the online service provided as compared to the face-to-face services.

“Online service did not receive favourable response because the customers wanted to see the quality of the service,” she added.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in a statement Thursday (July 15), said a special MKN meeting agreed to allow the sector to operate after taking into account the feedback from students, parents and teachers. – Bernama



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