Some restos can still operate after midnight: MoHA

National 1 minute, 44 seconds


BUSINESSES that have permission to operate beyond 12am can continue to do so under the existing regulations, the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

In a statement issued yesterday, the ministry said not many businesses operate past midnight, except during festive seasons and occasions such as Ramadhan.

Businesses that operate after midnight only cater to a small number of customers, it said.

However, the statement further noted that in the ministry’s effort to encourage a conducive business environment and make Brunei ‘pro-business’, it is willing to give further consideration to the needs and interests of both business operators and the public.

The ministry added that it is ready to consider allowing exceptions such as businesses located at the airport, hospitals, hotels and “businesses needed by the public” to operate past midnight, especially during festivities and Ramadhan.

The ministry issued the statement yesterday amid strong public response towards an earlier Bandar Seri Begawan Municipal Department circular stating that all shops and restaurants will not be allowed to operate after midnight effective May 14.

The circular had stated that action would be taken against any shop or restaurant found operating beyond midnight, which may include suspension of the business or cancellation of the business licence.

Earlier reports following the circular’s release cited the BSB Municipal Chairman Pg Dato Paduka Hj Abd Rahman Pg Seri Indera Pg Hj Ismail saying that the ruling will be applied nationwide, and vendors such as 24-hour nasi katok stalls and retail shops will also be included.

Yesterday’s statement further stated that the regulation allowing businesses to operate until midnight was “not new”.

The regulation overseeing business operating hours currently allows businesses to operate from 6am to 10pm.

However, the statement points out, “In the interest of the public as well as business operators, several businesses such as retail stores and eateries are given the exception to operate until 12 midnight.”

The exception on the 6am to 10pm rule puts into consideration certain conditions such as suitability and accessibility of the business premises, public safety, road traffic and ample parking space.

The Brunei Times