UK and Malaysia ‘Mamak’ shops face the same problem

The ‘Mamak’ shops in the UK also face the same problem. They have difficulties getting workers because there is a shortage of workers, Indian shops pay low wages and sometimes just minimum wage, or below minimum wage (for illegal workers), plus sometimes they cheat the workers and do not pay their salaries owed to them.


Over 2,000 mamak restaurants have closed down due to lack of workers, says association

(The Star) Over 2,000 mamak restaurants have closed down due to the manpower shortage that hit the food and restaurant sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an association has claimed.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan described the shortage of manpower as a big issue that is increasingly becoming critical to its members throughout the country.

“It has created a major impact on the food services industry as foreign workers were banned from entering our country during the various phases of the movement control order (MCO).

“Of the 12,000 registered Presma members, some 2,000 members have closed their operations in the last two years because of several factors, one of which was the lack of manpower.

“Although we are currently offering opportunities to locals,

there is no response from Malaysians to work in mamak restaurants.

“As a result, association members now have been reduced to only about 10,000 people because many have been forced to completely close down their restaurants due to the difficulty in recruiting workers,” he was quoted by Berita Harian on Sunday (Feb 6).

Jawahar Ali said the mamak restaurant sector currently needs at least 30,000 more workers to fill vacancies nationwide.

“We have put up posters at members’ restaurants calling on locals to apply, but the response has been lukewarm.

“The ones who come for the job are senior citizens who are short of money or foreigners who ran away from their employers in other sectors such as farms or illegal immigrants.

“We do not discriminate against senior citizens who are still able to work even though we need the strength of youths in this line of work,” he said.

It was reported that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many foreign workers who went back to their home countries prior to border closures were stuck and not able to return to work here.

As a result, mamak operators have had to manage with a smaller pool of available workers.