Since the outbreak of the Covid -19 in Malaysia, the tourism industry has been one of the worst affected. The severity of the pandemic has seen the entire nation going through various phases of lockdown, restricted movement and closed borders;
effectively impending any further sustainability efforts for the survival of the tourism related industry.
To date, 120 hotels in Malaysia have either temporarily or permanently closed down and the hospitality industry has lost over RM 6.5 billion in revenue last year and likely another RM 9 billion or more this year. This translated to thousands of people in the
hospitality industry struggling to survive and feed their families as many have lost their jobs or on minimal pay; not to mention having to cope with both mental and health stresses.
Acknowledging the hardship of the fellow hoteliers and the uncertainty of the hotel industry due to the prolonged crisis, Malaysian Hotel Association Selangor Chapter, once again, rose to the occasion and with the support of Tourism Selangor and MAH National, initiated its second Food Aid programme by organizing a fund-raising. This was inspired by the great success of their first CSR initiative with the support of Malaysian AEON Foundation under the capable leadership of the former President, Datin Yasmin Merican, who represented the community efforts of the AEON Group of Companies in Malaysia until April 2021. A total of 1200 needy
fellow hoteliers who lost their jobs due to the closures of many hotels in Malaysia, were grateful to receive the food and essential items for 2 months in February and March this year when pandemic was at its worst.
With its own MAH Cares programme and themed Together We Deliver to our Fellow Hoteliers", MAH Selangor Chapter managed to raise a total of RM90,000 through the generous contributions in cash and goods from caring organisations such as Tourism Selangor, English Hotbread, Sama Sama Hotel KLIA, Acappella Suite Hotel, Dorsett Grand Subang, Silka Maytower, BMC Tours & Travel, MOTAC, Yeo Hiap Seng (Yeo's) and many other kind-hearted individuals who had come forward to contribute towards this good cause.
A total of 880 food boxes were filled to the brim with daily essentials such as rice, eggs, cooking oil, milk powder, sardines, disposable face masks, Yeos Cintan noodles, Yeos cream sweet corn, packet drinks and many other essential items were
distributed to the needy fellow hoteliers in Selangor and Putrajaya last week.
“The current situation has put so many livelihoods in jeopardy, and with the prolonged lockdown and borders remaining closed for inter-state travels, it will continue to impact the hospitality industry and those who depend on this industry for their livelihood. Indeed, we are thankful that there are still very supportive organisations and individuals out there who empathise with the on-going situation and willingly stepped in to contribute towards our program, said Datin Jasmine Abdullah Heng, Chairman of MAH Selangor Chapter.
“A big Thank You to Tourism Selangor for their generous contribution and to the Board members of MAH both at the National Level and the Selangor Chapter as well as to Francis Alberto at the Secretariat who has worked tirelessly in coordinating the distribution of the food aid boxes. Certainly team work such as this during times of need makes a difference to the needy regardless of gender, race or nationality as we work together to advocate MAH Cares to weather this storm together and continue to support our members and the industry as well as to work closely with the government to ensure the survival towards a steady recovery of the hotel industry.We certainly look forward to more support going forward”, added Datin Jasmine.
At the same time, MAH Selangor Chapter, apart from supporting and promoting the tourism campaign developed by Tourism Selangor; “Pusing Selangor Dulu" to create awareness and drive tourism to Selangor, is also working closely with MAH's Tourism Recovery Committee to formulate strategies that would drive the impending recovery of the tourism Industry in Malaysia.
Recognising that the road to recovery for the tourism and hotel industry is still bumpy and uncertain with the Covid-19 situation and economic downturn in Malaysia, MAH Selangor Chapter sincerely hopes that new Government will urgently look into their appeal for support in term of promotional and marketing funding support for the hospitality industry, better discounts or subsidies for hotels in terms of electricity, wages, and government levies to avoid more closures of hotels. We also hope that all relevant stakeholders in the government will align with the hospitality players to work on the mission of reviving the hospitality industry which was one of the
key economic drivers in Malaysia contributing 5.9 percent to its GDP and employing close to a quarter of the workforce in Malaysia prior to the pandemic.
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