Expert says the SOP should remain in place for at least 3 months until the virus is fully contained
by ASILA JALIL/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE government’s move to allow selected sectors to resume operations at full capacity would help revive the economy from the crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Socio Economic Research Centre ED Lee Heng Guie said as operations were limited during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, many sectors have not been able to fully deliver or meet the demand required from customers or clients.
“It is a positive move to allow the companies who have been operating during the MCO to fully resume as it would help rejuvenate the economy.
“This new ruling would help them ramp up their capacity to meet the unfulfilled demand. However, demand may be slow because of Covid-19,” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.
He said allowing the sectors to fully operate would help businesses survive as they could regain revenue and reduce unemployment.
Last Tuesday, Senior Minister (Economic Cluster) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali announced that the government has agreed to fully open economic sectors that have been operating during the MCO.
However, they must comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) requirements.
Although he welcomed the green light, Lee said the SOP should remain in place for at least three months until the virus is fully contained.
“Everyone has a responsibility to observe the SOP, to ensure the community is safe and protected.
“Everyone must observe social distancing and other protective measures because the battle against the virus is not over yet,” added Lee.
The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) lauded the government’s “firm commitment” in ensuring business continuity and sustainability to rebuild the country’s economy as it also allows small and medium enterprises to revive their businesses.
“Malaysia plays an integral role in the global supply chain whether it is American manufacturers operating in Malaysia which are supplying essential goods and services around the world, or local producers directly supplying US companies around the globe.
“Our member companies are fully invested in Malaysia and are committed to staying in the fight to address the pandemic hand-in-hand with the government,” said AMCHAM CEO Siobhan Das.
Mah Sing Group Bhd founder and group MD Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the announcement was timely and much needed to revitalise the economy.
The group hopes for the government to allow more industries to operate, including the property sector. It said the sector has a “multiplier effect” on over 140 industries and is reliant on domestic consumption.
“Approved construction sites have a set of guidelines to follow, and if property sales galleries can open, they can adopt the same stringent hygiene and social distancing guidelines, which are already being practised at supermarkets and banks,” he said in a statement.
He also hoped for the government to allow 50% of its staff to work in an effort to gradually regain normalcy.
The MCO, which was enforced on March 18, has restricted business operations nationwide.
Those that were allowed to operate during the period included essential services and essential product manufacturers. The list was then expanded in April which includes several non-essential sectors, such as aerospace, hardware stores and construction.