Photo : Datuk Christina Liew
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew welcomed the reopening of the spa industry ,beauty salons, reflexology, wellness and health massage centres on October 1 (Friday) under the National Recovery Plan (PPN).
Sabah Covid-19 spokesperson Datuk Masidi Manjun made an announcement to this effect on Tuesday.
Liew, who is Tawau MP, said the good news was a huge relief for spa therapists, business owners and spa operators who have suffered massive losses estimated to be in the region of RM320 million (involving 269 spa outlets throughout the country, which are members of the Malaysian Association of Wellness and Spa (Mawspa) since the pandemic outbreak last year.
According to her, it is estimated that more than 50 spa operators in the whole of Sabah have ceased operations because their businesses were no longer sustainable after operating for about eight months, and then ordered to close for 10 months out of 18.5 months from March 18, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
Liew said she was informed by the President of the Malaysian Association of Wellness and Spa (Mawspa), Datin Dorothea Justin Moduying that of the initial 600 spa outlets in the country (members of Mawspa), only 269 are still in operation. The rest closed down last year.
“For resumption of business, those involved in the spa, beauty and wellness industry, and likewise patrons, have to keep their side of the deal by ensuring they are fully vaccinated and that they have a low-risk status declared on the MySejahtera application.
“As there is no proven vaccine against Covid-19, we must learn to live with the virus because life has to go on. Getting at least 90pc of the adult population in Malaysia fully vaccinated will help all of us move on with our lives,” she said in a statement here on Wednesday.
At the State Legislative Assembly sitting on September 22, Liew, who is Api Api Assemblywoman, urged the State Government to duly consider the appeal of Mawspa and the Association of Malaysian Spas (Amspa), led by Datin Jeanette Tambakau, to allow their members to operate from October, but with strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Meanwhile, she hailed the Government’s decision to allow tourism-related centres to operate from October 1, such as zoo, farm, forest park, aquarium and edutainment centre.
She contended that while the Government has done and is doing its part, the population must take responsibility too by investing in the battle against the pandemic.
“From my observation, people in general do not pay heed to the Government’s advice to go ‘double-masking’ as a safety precaution although we may be fully vaccinated. In fact, mask-wearing is being made compulsory in the workplace and on public transport in some countries like France and Australia,” Liew said.