I am writing to express our discomfort and the complications that we are facing with regards to the latest directive of closing all businesses including eating establishments during Friday prayers.
Not to be misunderstood, we fully support the titah of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and his vision of realising Brunei's status of becoming a Negara Zikir.
However, it is our disappointment that such a directive was implemented immediately by the relevant authorities without proper discussion and thought.
For us working in the private sector, it has caused much discomfort in having to look for eating establishments.
Due to the directive of closing businesses at 12pm, the majority of the eating establishments would stop taking orders at 11.30am which again, is a problem for the majority of private sector employees.
Some can leave the office at 11.30am and some can only leave by 12pm.
Even if we leave the office at 11.30am, the time taken travelling to the eating establishments gives us little or no time at all to be able to get takeaway food as by the time we arrive, the eating establishments would already have stopped taking orders.
We have heard others commenting that such closure reminded them of the holy city of Mekah but apparently there, they do not work on Fridays hence they would not encounter any problems as everyone would be in the comfort of their homes.
This directive also affects commuters who do not have the privilege of having their homes nearby. This affects the majority of the working force as there is a large number of us working in the private sector. .
We urge the authorities to at least allow eating establishments to be kept open.
We do support the closure of other businesses as it does promote people loitering around such as shopping malls, etc but please do consider for eating establishments to be reviewed and opened.
Such closure could also perpetrate further illegal ways for people to conduct food businesses which again, would inadvertently create another problem for the country.