Banning 24-hour eateries not practical, says lawmaker

Banning 24-hour eateries not practical, says lawmaker

Move would lead to job losses, diminish Malaysia’s standing as food paradise, says Lim Lip Eng.

ANY move to ban 24-hour eateries could result in loss of income and a decrease in economic activity as Malaysia is known to be a food haven, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said. He said Malaysia is renowned for its diverse food culture with 24-hour eateries that offer a wide array of culinary options that reflect the country’s rich gastronomic heritage.

“Prohibiting them would restrict food choices and diminish Malaysia’s standing as a food paradise,” Lim said in a statement.

Yesterday, the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) supported the move by some eateries to shorten operating hours, claiming that late-night meals can cause negative effects such as weight gain, sleep disorder and digestive issues.

CAP said limited access to late-night eating will be healthier for Malaysians.

Lim said it is unnecessary for the health minister to respond to the consumer group after it had said the government would evaluate the consumer group’s proposal.

Lim, however, said there are some good reasons why the government should not ban 24-hour eateries.

“Firstly, these eateries are a big part of Malaysia’s economy. 24-hour eateries play a vital role in Malaysia’s economy by providing employment opportunities and generating revenue through food sales and tourism.

“Prohibiting them would lead to job losses and a decrease in economic activity.

“Additionally, these eateries offer convenience and accessibility to individuals with diverse schedules, including late-shift workers, travelers arriving at unconventional hours, and those with non-traditional lifestyles.”

He added that late-night eateries serve as important social venues where friends and family members can gather after work or during weekends to enjoy meals and bond.

“Banning them could impede social interactions and recreational activities, negatively affecting community cohesion and mental well-being,” Lim added.

– April 24, 2024.

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