Tawau Food Operators Association president Chau Oi Keong claimed that food operators here were planning to close down and at least two food operators had already done so because of the shortage of workers.

“Many of the food operators here are facing the problem of insufficient supply of human resources so much so that they may soon be forced to close down their food business.

“They can no longer stand the operation against foreign workers being carried out by the enforcement agencies like Immigration, police and ESSCom,” he said when speaking during the joint celebration of the 16th installation committee, excellent academic award presentation, Parents’ Day celebration and 31st anniversary of the Tawau Food Operators Association at a restaurant here on Tuesday night.

Chau believed that the workers shortage problem was also faced by food buiness operators in Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu.

“Although we cannot rely too much on foreign workers, many of the foreign workers are still unable to get their documents despite having lived here for a long time and most of them are IMM13 holders; thus, we (food operators) are facing difficulty hiring  workers.

“I hope the government can help us to solve this problem or legalise the hiring of foreign workers,” Chau said.

He also hoped a dialogue session could be held between the Tawau Food Operators Association and the director of Sabah Immigration to find a win-win solution.

Meanwhile, the guest of hour Datuk Yong Chi Fui who is also the association’s advisor, urged all food operators in Tawau to adhere to good business ethics in terms of offering good quality food and drinks for their customers at reasonable prices and practise good hospitality.

He said the food operators played a vital role in promoting all kinds of food and beverages in Tawau.

About 500 guests and members attended the dinner.