THE manpower shortage that plagued the food and restaurant sector since the pandemic forced more than 2,000 mamak restaurants to close their businesses, Berita Harian reports.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (PRESMA) President Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan as quoted by Berita Harian yesterday, described the shortage of manpower as a big issue that is increasingly critical to its members throughout the country.

“It created a major impact on the food services industry and 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 their restaurant due to the difficulty in recruiting workers,“ he reportedly said.

Commenting further, Jawahar Ali said, the Mamak restaurant industry needs at least 30,000 more workers to fill vacancies nationwide.