What Would Happen If Malaysia's 24-Hour Mamak Stalls Had A Curfew?

Reviewing business hours of Malaysia's most-loved mamak stalls could curb social problems, according to a minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

Cover image via The Star

No curfew restrictions on 24/7 mamak stalls, says PM Najib

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during a walkabout at the pasar ramadan in Jalan Raja Alang near Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. The prime Minister says there will not be a ban on 24-hour eateries.

Image via The Malaysian Insider

Restaurants and eateries will be allowed to operate round the clock with no restrictions on their business hours.

The announcement was made by the Prime Minister himself, who said the Government had taken heed of public feedback and deci­ded against curbing the existing operating hours.

“Those who own businesses that open 24 hours will receive their rezeki (good fortune) from the business. If we restrict the hours, it will cause inconvenience to many people,” Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told reporters after distributing bubur lambuk outside Masjid Jamek in Kampung Baru here yesterday.

On the suggested move by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Najib said it was just a proposal by a minister and it was up to the Government to decide.

Last Thursday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan said a proposal would be submitted to the Government to restrict operation hours of mamak stalls to midnight

Where are we going to watch our football matches?

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“A note and proposal paper will be submitted to the Deputy Prime Minister and National Social Council,” said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim

“It is not a blanket ban on all restaurants or eateries but those in specific areas such as in housing and rural areas.”

Why the ban? Apparently mamak stalls have been the reason for the rise in social ills in our nation.

Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim

Image via funnymalaysia

“This leeway of allowing eateries to be opened 24-hours has contributed to social ills. There are concerns that the young spend too much idle time in such places and get involved in unhealthy activities,” Shahidan added.

Besides being favourite haunts for foreign immigrants, he said such eateries also attracted rats and were noisy.

Umno Senator Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, had caused a stir when he admitted to proposing this idea on twitter

The user @signtel had asked Asyraf to clarify what sort of social problems he was referring to, and the effect that decision would have on late-night shift workers who require food at irregular hours.

Asyraf has yet to explain his argument that such outlets could be the cause of social problems.

Not only would this decision affect our lepak sessions but price of food would have to be increased to cover high rental

Image via The Star

“In fact, we are providing people with a safe and healthy place to have a social life, instead of them going to pubs or bars,” Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed said.

He said eateries that opened late allowed students who studied through the night and adults working odd hours a place to have their meals. To add it also made the surrounding areas safer.

Petaling Jaya Coffeeshop Association (PJCA) secretary Keu Kok Meng said the minister’s proposal would affect the livelihoods of many people

Malaysians have come out out to express their disappointment and frustration over this issue:

Image via reactiongifs

Learning and development executive Keith Chiang said social ills were caused by people and not businesses.

So, if you want to stop having people loitering around, penalise the people, not the business.”

International trade operations specialist N. Karthik Raja said the proposal would make it difficult for people who worked odd hours.

I work according to United States and United Kingdom time and most of the time I eat out. If there are no restaurants after midnight, it will be difficult for people like me,” he said.
Image via Straits Times

What would happen if mamak stalls would have to end business at midnight?

1. World Cup season will be particularly lifeless. Where else would we cheer and jeer in public over non-alcoholic drinks?

Image via The Hive Asia

2. No fun post-mortem sessions after futsal matches

Image via Funny Malaysia

3. Where to go makan after clubbing??

4. You'll miss late night shisha bonding time

Image via

5. You'll finally master the art of frying Maggi goreng at 4am. Tourists would really enjoy eating at your place. You'll take over Kayu's place on Trip Advisor.

Image via Funny Malaysia

ALTERNATIVE: Indomie goreng parties in someone's house - you wouldn't wanna be the host though cause you'll have to clean up.

24-hour mamak stalls are such a big part of our community, with this possible restriction we'll be losing a part of our culture. So maybe it's time we start thinking of alternatives?

So you think you've tried all the rotis at the mamak? We bet you haven't heard of some of these before: