The reopening of several department stores in Kuala Lumpur has left netizens puzzled since the federal territory is still under Phase 1 of the national recovery plan.
Isetan announced on Facebook the reopening of its outlets in Suria KLCC, The Gardens and Lot 10 shopping malls, while Sogo’s department stores in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru also resumed operations today.
Johor also remains under Phase 1 of the recovery plan.
Netizens were quick to question why the stores were reopening, pointing out that they were not listed as essential. Some also voiced concerns that this would lead to crowds and the further spread of Covid-19.
Facebook user Lance Fu described the reopening as “crazy” and asked if Kuala Lumpur had already transitioned into Phase 2.
“Unbelievable, you guys just never learn from mistakes,” he commented on Sogo’s post.
Meanwhile, Ken Lee asked if allowing department stores to reopen during Phase 1 was fair to other businesses which were forced to remain closed.
Apparently, the National Security Council updated the SOPs for Phase 1 states on July 6, with supermarkets, hypermarkets and department stores the only outlets in shopping malls allowed to open, along with other essential services.
In an apparent dig, former prime minister Najib Razak quipped that the SOPs were changed “secretly” to allow department stores to resume operations.
Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Sarawak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan remain under Phase 1, with most of Selangor is further locked down under an EMCO.
Sabah moves to Phase 2 tomorrow, joining Perlis, Penang, Perak, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu.