Kelantan Eateries To Close At Night During Ramadan So Muslims Are Encouraged To Pray
All restaurant operators in Kelantan have been ordered to close their eateries between 8.30pm and 10pm during the month of Ramadan
The directive, which was effective immediately, was issued by the Kelantan government via the State Secretary's Office to all local councils in a circular on 6 May, New Straits Times reported.
Signed by state government deputy secretary (management) Datuk Adnan Hussin, the closure was said to encourage Muslims to attend terawih prayers at mosques during the holy month.
Veteran newsman Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini argued that the move made by the government is "excessive".
"Now they are telling restaurants to shut. After this would they tell the petrol kiosks to shut during terawih prayers?"
"Tomorrow is it going to be a textile shop? They may even ask supermarkets to close. What is next? Pharmacies? Should clinics also close? This is too much," he said, according to Malay Mail.
He pointed out that other Muslim countries have not even reached this "extreme" level.
"How could you then impose on people as if it's a compulsory solat? Even God does not punish you for not performing this prayer," he added.
PAS central committee member Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz has also voiced out against the directive
"I was shown the circular after terawih prayers (Monday night). I checked that it was legitimate... I hope and pray that these orders will be rescinded," the Bachok Member of Parliament said, according to New Straits Times.
He opined that it went against the spirit of Ramadan, adding that the state government should be encouraging Muslims to operate legitimate businesses to earn a halal income.
"During the fasting month, we must encourage people to operate businesses, not stop them."
Despite having to close for nearly two hours every night, restaurant traders must still bear the daily costs of running their businesses
"We understand the government's intention is to ensure that the people can perform the Tarawih prayers, but perhaps the directive to stop the business operations should be reviewed," restaurant owner Maryam told Bernama.
"Workers and restaurant owners have a bigger responsibility to provide family needs and I think the instruction is too drastic," she said, adding that she has to pay 15 employees.
She also questioned why the directive only applied to restaurants and food stalls, but not other businesses such as supermarkets and fast food restaurants.