The Council is appealing to the Malaysian Government to make a clear distinction between business events and mass gatherings with a view, to establish a restart date for this crucial economic sector of the country. Currently under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which was enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conferences and exhibitions in the country, are prohibited from taking place
Chairman of the Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM), Alan Pryor, said that it was important for the government to understand that the business events industry can operate safely under the comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Malaysia’s business events venues and facilities according to the chairman, can offer controlled environments with high quality operational standards to ensure the health and safety of people which, has always been the primary concern, of the business events industry. As such he mentioned the sector, should not be subject to the mass gathering restrictions that apply to other large-scale events such as weddings, religious gatherings, sports events and concerts.
Pryor commented: “Event venues are economic engines for their cities and communities, creating significant tax and travel revenues as well as jobs. That is why, in consultation with the industry, we have developed highly comprehensive SOPs, which demonstrate our focus on ensuring the safety of our employees, clients, suppliers and attendees.
Collectively industry stakeholders have submitted these SOPs to the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) who have in turn, submitted them to the government. We hope that these will demonstrate the proactivity from our industry in working with relevant government authorities to facilitate the reopening of the business events industry sector, which plays a vital role in stimulating Malaysia’s economy.”
Meanwhile the relevant industry sectors have developed a range of comprehensive SOPs with the support of industry associations which incorporate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), food safety measures, air quality control, surface cleaning, and physical and social distancing.
Based on the SOPs, Malaysian business event venues will also be required to implement a variety of other measures including temperature checks, thermal cameras, hand sanitisers, reduced touch-points, contactless transactions and daily monitoring systems. Specifics of these SOPs will be further customised for each venue and event to ensure the health and safety of all involved in the planning and execution of events on site.
“We do hope that the Malaysian Government takes this distinction into account moving forward, as has been happening in other international markets such as China and Germany. Gatherings and events are not all equal and come in many different shapes and sizes. Purpose-built convention centres are required to maintain international standards with controlled environments and stringent operational processes,” Pryor concluded.