Struggling businesses may present opportunities if we study the causes of the reduction in demand, says former PM
by FARA AISYAH / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said despite the threat of Covid-19 pandemic, there are ways for local businesses to leverage on.
“If we examine the demands worldwide, we may be able to identify industries that we can go into.
“Even the businesses which have suffered because of reduced demand may present opportunities if we study the causes of the reduction in demand,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He added that there are many other businesses and industries which may benefit from the constraints due to the pandemic.
For example, Dr Mahathir said better marketing systems may enable the surviving suppliers or new suppliers to meet the reduced demands in the oil and gas industry.
The industry needs the support of numerous suppliers, but some of them have already closed shops due to declining business.
Dr Mahathir said the cost of doing business must be lower now.
“The reduced demand, which causes the closure of industries, will also result in loss of jobs.
“Cost of labour at all levels would diminish. Even raw materials would cost less,” he added.
In many countries, Dr Mahathir said wage earners are willing to accept cuts in their salaries, including top executives.
He said if production cost is less, products too would cost less. Investments which need less capital should make some projects feasible.
Dr Mahathir said the market today is bigger as all transactions, buying, selling and delivering are done online, thus Malaysian businesses should go for the world market and not confine to the local market.
He also said it is time to venture into mix farming instead of depending on just one crop.
In addition, Dr Mahathir said modern agriculture can contribute much to meeting food needs through increases in productivity, and can create new sources of income for those who have lost their jobs.
“During the pandemic, revenue has decreased, but the government will need to support the people with stimulus packages.
“We need to be serious about reviving the economy. This pandemic is not going to end soon,” Dr Mahathir said.
He said the economy cannot depend on old normals.
As such, new normals must be established in view of the restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He stressed that bureaucratic processes should be minimised when new products or new systems are introduced.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the Economic Action Council (EAC) has received feedback from several sectors, including retail sector, hotel and restaurant operators, and taxi drivers on the impact of Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) on their businesses.
“The EAC secretariat will bring all of this feedback to the EAC meeting this week for discussion.
“Among the suggestions from the business community is to review the standard operating procedures during CMCO to ensure their businesses can continue and recover as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.