I’m sure everyone is getting sick of Covid-19. Although it’s good that the government is slowly opening up sectors of business and sports for everyone to participate in, there’s only one thing that’s still left closed and makes everyone wonder.
And that closed thing is…
The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) had gathered and sent out an open letter to the government and called them out for treating the industry unfair due to the pandemic. Cinemas have been closed since MCO2.0 in January due to Covid-19.
The MCO had extended till 4th March 2021 but notice how even with the extension, other sectors have been able to open up such as gyms, recreational finishing and even casinos.
MAFE also argues on how our neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand have permitted their cinemas to operate at 100% capacity while Malaysia is still forced to remain closed.
Malaysian cinemas be like...
Due to the long-term closure of cinemas in Malaysia, over 25% cinemas in Malaysia have been permanently closed. Not just that but it had also effected in job losses, downsizing of operations and location closure of the cinema outlets. It’s been reported that employees had also suffered up to a 70% pay cut due to this.
Image via Kuokgroup
These drawbacks had hit the third largest cinema chain in Malaysia, MBO Cinema who were forced to voluntary liquidate back in October 2020. Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) had also closed their Cheras Leisure Mall and GSC Berjaya Times Square in early January 2021.
Image via Oh! Media
The cinema industry in Malaysia had suffered a 90% loss of revenue with around Rm500 million on record in 2020 alone. MAFE had mentioned that in previous years the industry had contributed over RM1.08 billion in income and over RM250 million in entertainment tax to the country.
MAFE has stated that cinemas are the safest form of out-of-home entertainment as there had been no detection of Covid-19 clusters from cinemas when they were allowed to open. Cinemas also follow the SOP guidelines by authorities as they have implemented gap seating which ensures social distancing and having halls have less than 50% capacity.
Image via Lowyat
“This is no longer just a crisis for the cinema industry; it is evolving into a financial catastrophe that is likely to affect thousands of jobs across a larger supply chain, which serves the entire trade from end-to-end including smaller organizations in manufacturing, logistics, cleaning, F&B, and retail, among others,” the organization wrote. “The collapse of the cinema industry is also estimated to directly impact the livelihoods of the larger local Malay film industry, where over 20,000 Malaysians are currently employed in filmmaking and production, creatives, distribution, talent, and much more.”
Image via Lowyat
“The cinema industry cannot sustain closure for much longer and it will undoubtedly collapse, affecting the livelihoods of every Malaysian serving across the entire supply chain,” said MAFE Chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Datuk Amar (Dr) Mohd Ghazali Dato’ Mohd Seth. “We hope that the Government will seriously reconsider their decision to allow us to reopen.”
I honestly hope that cinemas are able to open soon as well because I am getting bored of watching movies at home. Watching films at the cinema hits you differently and plus, you’ll get to enjoy the popcorn!
Image via TGC Cinemas (Facebook)
Even the GSC Admin can’t wait for cinemas to be reopened since the vaccine has arrived.
What do you think readers? Do ya’ll miss cinemas just as much as us? Let us know!