Parliament have proposed two bills of law containing regulations to retail trade and shopping centres.
The proposed bill includes new regulations that would bring structural changes to establishment and operational procedures to shopping centres and chain stores. According to the proposal, the new working hours will be 10.30 to 20.30 during the week and Saturdays, but stores will be closed on Sundays and statutory holidays.The proposed bill is aimed at protecting the small business owners.
The bill has a precedent – in 2013, it was proposed in the Consumer Protection Bill that shopping malls be moved to outside of the city centres and be closed on Sundays for the same reason. But these proposals were not passed to become law.
The same proposal also suggests that shopping centres over 2500 meter square should have men/women restrooms, a masjid, and a childrens room, prepared according to hygiene regulations. The shopping centres established on 2500-5000 meter sq are to allocate 100 meter sq for these amenities, and those between 5001-10000 meter sq to allocate 150 meters sq. centres with space over 10000 meters sq are to allocate 200 meters sq for arts activities, including exhibitions, talks, and workshops.
Chain food supermarkets that have more than 400 branches are to allocate an amount equal to one percent of their total sales to regional local products.
Despite the continuous efforts to pass the law for the past five years, it has faced objections from Shopping Centre Investors Association and other corporations.
Source Daily Sabah