Shah delivers groceries to one of his customers.
MIRI: The movement control order (MCO) which is enforced since March 18 has made many people turn to online shopping and home delivery for their food and groceries.
Some first-timers are calling online shopping and home deliveries a ‘life saver’ and they now depend on the facility more than they expected.
Some traders have also gone on social media to advertise their services.
According to Shah Izuandi Mahdi who does grocery deliveries throughout Miri city, this is a golden opportunity for him and his delivery partner Hannah Qhairanna Puyang Hii as they not only get to make some income, but most importantly they help members of the public abide by the MCO by buying groceries for them.
“Until yesterday (Tuesday), I’ve delivered groceries to 49 families since the start of the MCO. Yesterday alone, I covered 15 families.
“I’m thankful to God that we are able to help all these families get their groceries without having to leave home,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Working as a prison warden, Shah said all the deliveries are done after he has completed his work for the day at Miri Prison.
“Since the first day of MCO, I’ve been rushing home from work, shower and get ready to deliver groceries to customers,” he said, adding that he tied up with supermarkets which made it easier for him to obtain the groceries and deliver them to customers.
To avoid any hassle, Shah said he had obtained permission for his service from the authorities.
“Alhamdulillah, while delivering the groceries yesterday (Tuesday), I received a phone call from the police saying that we can continue our deliveries after the start of the 7pm curfew, provided that we prioritise safety and hygiene to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“I’m really grateful to those who helped make our work easier. InsyaAllah, with collaboration from the supermarkets and the police, we will provide our best service to the public.
“I feel this is a responsibility as a Malaysian and a human being. I do all these (home deliveries) because I want to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
“I want to see everyone return to their normal daily life, especially staff of the Health Ministry like doctors and nurses who are risking their lives for us.
“I also miss seeing children playing in the playground and wish to see all other activities going back to normal. What I’m doing right now is just a small part,” he added.
Meanwhile, many Food Panda delivery men are seen on the street since the start of the MCO, compared to days before.
According to one of them, before the MCO they made about ten deliveries a day but ever since then the number had doubled and sometimes tripled, especially in the evening before the start of the 7pm restriction order.
“Since the order to close all eateries by 7pm several days ago, we have been receiving a lot of last-minute orders between 6.30pm and 7pm.
“When it’s almost 7pm, I will deliver about five orders at once,” said one of them.
A random survey made yesterday saw may Food Panda delivery men at McDonald’s and Sushi King outlets at Shell Permyjaya station, waiting to pick up their deliveries.
Mostly in their 20s, they said they had received many orders lately, as those in the civil service had received their salary.
They were all seen abiding by the company’s rule to observe hygiene and wear masks as well as gloves when receiving and delivering orders.
A food delivery customer, Mohd Aliff, who is currently home alone as both his parents are back in their village in Niah said he had been ordering food online daily since the start of the MCO.
“For me the delivery apps are very efficient. There are many apps offering the service and a lot of choices as well. I order different dishes every time so that I don’t get bored and the delivery only takes about 30 to 40 minutes which I feel is very reasonable,” he said.
Food Panda delivery men wait to pick up orders at McDonald’s and Sushi King in Permyjaya Shell station.
Aliff said he is also thankful to all the delivery apps that have been providing free deliveries throughout the MCO as customers only pay for the items ordered.
“I use Food Panda app a lot and they currently have promotion, so the food you order is cheaper compared to before MCO, and at the moment the delivery is free.
“This is definitely better than having to go out and buy food,” he said further.
Another consumer, Norni, who works in a company that provides essential services said online shopping and home deliveries have helped made life easier for her during the MCO.
“I don’t normally get things delivered to my house and prefer to do my own shopping.
“But with this MCO, I think this is among the most important and best services that everyone can rely on,” said Norni.
Housewife Arvinder Khaira shared similar views and feels that in view of the MCO, home deliveries are life savers.
“We have resorted to home deliveries and it is very convenient. I have a toddler at home so I don’t want to risk anything by going out.
“Once we had no choice and my husband had to go out and shop but upon reaching home, he left the grocery outside the house and only took it in the next day. That’s how paranoid we are,” she said, laughing about the one-time incident.
She added that going out will be a big hassle as everything has to be disinfected once getting home and with a small child at home it is not easy.
“So home delivery is a life saver because I don’t have to have unnecessary physical contact with the outside world for now. When they (delivery) come, I tell them to leave things at the gate and leave.
“Everything is paid online, so no unnecessary handling of cash as well.
“We don’t know who else have touched the money.
“I then go out to get the deliveries with gloves and leave them outside overnight before bringing them inside the house,” she said, adding that this can only be done with dry food.