By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
Malaysian businesses could not survive another implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) as it will likely collapse business survival.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai (picture) said the effort to break the chain of infections must be complemented with a concerted effort from the public and private sector and must not involve a second round of MCO.
“Should a second total lockdown be instituted, there is grave fear over the collapse of the business sectors and economy given that the several major states are the hub and heart of the country’s economic activities.
“Based on feedback from members, a lockdown of four weeks and more will render business sustainability down to one to three months only.
“Business and economic activities must be allowed to continue to operate subject to stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) and controls,” he said in a statement.
In addition to the substantial drop in revenue and financial losses, Soh added that businesses also faced severe industry challenges such as sustainability, employment and productivity.
“The business fraternity and the economy are still reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the first lockdown, and most have yet to rebuild their business back to the pre-Covid-19 level.
“Also, the business community remembers vividly the horrible and painful impact of the full lockdown in March and April last year 2020 that had crippled the operations of most businesses,” he said.
He said the association is fully supporting the government’s decision to implement a targeted Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and put in place tighter SOPs.
“FMM supports the government’s actions to institute stricter controls to reduce the rate of infections and break the chain swiftly before there are more serious repercussions on both the rakyat and economy nationwide.
“We support the targeted CMCO which is more localised coupled with stricter SOPs and restrictions on travel, but not a total lockdown,” he said.
Soh added that there is also a concern on the government’s ability to further provide financial aid to businesses, especially the wage subsidy and loan moratorium should there will be a second full implementation of movement restriction.