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With the pandemic affecting the hotel industry forcing the retrenchment of hotel employees, the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Selangor Chapter joined forces recently with the Malaysian AEON Foundation to bring some respite to more than 1200 former hotel staff and their families throughout Malaysia. This initiative to help the hoteliers who have lost their jobs by the AEON foundation in Malaysia, not only reflected AEON’s active community services since the start of the pandemic in 2020, but it also supported MAH’s mission to continue to help those in need in the hospitality industry.

Aptly called “BERSAMA AEON”, this three month programme which began in early 2021 will see recipient families receiving an “AEON Homebox” worth RM100 containing basic food necessities including bags of rice, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, instant noodles, coffee & other items. Since the programme launch in early January 2021, more than 1,206 applications have been approved to receive the monthly home boxes from March 2021 onwards.

Former President of the Malaysian AEON Foundation, Datin Yasmin Merican, representing the community efforts of the AEON Group of Companies in Malaysia until April 2021, was happy that AEON was able to bring some joy to the ex-hoteliers during these trying times. “When the idea was first promoted at AEON to target the hard hit industries, we thought this would just be another food box programme during the pandemic. But in inviting AEON employees to personally deliver the boxes to the many families around Malaysia, it has touched the hearts of many, both at AEON and also with the families who are now connected through this people to people programme. We just hope that this initiative will make a small difference in the way AEON supports those in need during the pandemic” she said.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Selangor Chapter Chairman, Datin Jasmine Abdullah Heng, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Datin Yasmin Merican and AEON for their timely efforts in providing a helping hand to the hotel employees who have lost their jobs. “This collaboration is one of the many initiatives and activities that we have lined up for this year. Charity has always been very close to our hearts at the MAH Selangor Chapter and we are always looking for avenues and partners to support us in our CSR activities to ensure the hotel community stay relevant and positive despite the challenges faced during the current pandemic,” she added. To-date, food boxes to the value of RM100,000-00 have been distributed to those in need of assistance.

At the same time, we do hope that the Government will consider lifting the inter-state travel especially for those who are attending business meetings and seminars in the hotel. This will help the hotels to sustain their business as well as retain their staff during these challenging times.

To instil further confidence with our guests, apart from complying with the SOPs by the KKM and MKN, many of the hotels have taken one step further by working with the renowned Bureau Veritas to obtain a certification programme called “Clean & Safe Malaysia” where all operational processes are closely monitored and complied to by all hotel staff trained to execute the SOPs.

The “Clean & Safe Malaysia” hygiene and safety label audited by Bureau Veritas is endorsed by MOTAC and Malaysian Association of Hotels National. The certification extends beyond basic regulatory requirements with the goal of not only ensuring enforcement, but also to ensure the peace of mind of travellers staying at the certified hotels.

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