MoHA to clarify resto closure soon

National 1 minute, 37 seconds


THE Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) will soon clarify the new directive of shops and restaurants not allowed to operate after midnight, a senior MoHA official said.

When contacted yesterday, the official said a press statement is expected to be released “in the coming days”, but did not provide details of the recently-introduced ruling.

A circular issued by the Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Department last week said the midnight closure applies to all restaurants and shops in the country from May 14 onwards.

The circular did not provide a reason for the ruling.

The government order had sparked discussions on social media, with many netizens expressing their disappointment.

The Brunei Times Facebook page alone recorded more than 100 comments, majority of them questioning the reason for such a ruling.

One netizen said the authorities need to be transparent on the reasons behind the directive.

Akram Kamaruddin said, “Be transparent. Answer questions from the public. Don’t just bring in new rules and regulations without informing the public properly. Where is the news conference and etc to justify/inform this?”

Others raised their concerns on the effects of the ruling to businesses.

Pakchizai Toh believes that the ruling would cut job opportunities and lower businesses’ profits.

“As long as you can afford paying all the costs of extending your business (operating hours), there should be no restrictions. And what is the real reason behind this restriction? To control people from staying out late? Prevent car accidents in the middle of the night?”

Syafi Bakar commented that the new regulation was a paradox.

“They want us to become an entrepreneurially-oriented generation but are now imposing unnecessary restrictions on existing businesses. Please realise by curbing business operating hours, you are also curbing and impeding potential economic growth,” he said.

On the other hand, Anthony Abeng said the decision to close all shops and restaurants at midnight may be unpopular, but Bruneians should obey the rules.

The Brunei Times