‘RM3 only’ – hotelier turns to selling roadside food to survive

Hotel manager has no choice but to resort to desperate measure in this pandemic time.

Clad in long sleeves shirt, hotel manager Jeffrey Lim shouts “tiga ringgit, tiga ringgit” by the curbside just as a pasar malam trader would.

Holding up a placard that reads “RM3 only”, he beckons passing pedestrians and vehicles.

Outside the Red Rock Hotel along Jalan Macalister in Penang, the hotel which he runs, a troop of chefs and hotel workers prepare food, like how hawkers do.

For Lim, desperate times call for desperate measures.

“This is actually to help the staff, help the hotel to survive during the Covid-19 time.

“We have to depend on the hotel to survive. We cannot depend much because there is nothing much from the government for the hotel industry,” he was quoted by Bernama as saying.

With tourism coming to a complete halt during the movement control order (MCO), regular hotel businesses have all but dried up.

Lim had, therefore, resorted to selling food to the public to sustain the business.

Among the items on the menu are chicken rice, duck rice, fried kuey teow, prawn noodles and fried rice.

A long list of hotels, some with decades-long legacy, have bitten the dust during the first MCO last year.

The country was placed under a second MCO on Jan 13 after the Sabah election helped spread Covid-19 across the country.

Unlike the first MCO, many parts of the economy are still open but there is little relief for hotels as most people are confined to their homes.

The less stringent MCO has also struggled to bring the pandemic under control with the infectivity rate now higher than when the partial lockdown started.

With a struggling economy and limited finances, the government ruled out a shutdown of the economy even in the worst-case scenario.

However, Putrajaya has promised to enforce more stringent standard operating procedures with stiffer punishments.


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