September 20, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The venues division of the Business Events Council Malaysia is advocating for business events to be able to operate sooner in the country’s recovery plan.

Currently, business events are slated to restart in Phase 4 of the plan – six venues have sent a letter to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) to allow purpose-built business events facilities to operate during Phase 2.

“On behalf of Malaysia’s venue sector, we seek MOTAC’s assistance to represent us in this very difficult time to highlight the need for business events to safely operate and reopen in Phase 2, with fully vaccinated staff, fully vaccinated delegates and clients, and in line with our existing strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),” said Alan Pryor, General Manager of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, on behalf of the venues sector of the Business Events Council Malaysia.

“Professionally-managed purpose-built venues with flexible space are enabled to cater to multiple events at one time in a very controlled and regulated environment. Notably, the collective industry has never been associated with a cluster, yet we have been closed for the majority of this year and remain unable to host even fully virtual events or command centre work. Many venues begun operating as vaccination centres which are also gradually closing or shrinking operations.”

“The sector now being closed till Phase 4 is detrimental to the already faltering livelihoods and survival of the workforce. We humbly appeal for MOTAC’s assistance to save an industry sector that is also an economic and social driver of the knowledge and the visitor economy for many years.”

“It is more crucial than ever that Malaysia recognises business events industry beyond the aspect of congregation. It is evident that our regional neighbouring countries understand the high economic and social values contributed by the industry and its importance in a healthy economy. Around us, countries as mobilising business events to support their nations’ post-pandemic recovery agenda and we simply cannot be left behind when Malaysia has so much value to offer as a compelling meetings destination,” said Pryor.

On Sunday, daily cases in the South East Asian nation dipped below 15,000 for the first time in nearly two months, amid rising vaccination levels.