by AZREEN HANI
THE Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said the government must urgently support industries during the lockdown period with the necessary financial assistances and initiatives including allocating a Special Relief Fund to assist companies, especially the SMEs.
The calls were made following the government’s decision to impose a total lockdown from June 1.
“FMM maintains that a total lockdown is going to have a devastating acute impact on business survival and employment given that many companies, especially SMEs, are barely on their road to recovery from the impact of the pandemic,” FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said.
“If businesses are unassisted by the Government, this lockdown could lead to their closure and significant job losses where the numbers could hit one million or more.”
Among others FMM said the government must give automatic bank loan moratorium for at least three months or more effective June 1 and reinstate the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) for all industries for the phases of the
lockdown period with RM800 – RM1,000 / employee.
It also asked the government to suspend or extend the payment date for all statutory contributions given that operations would be in total lockdown except for the allowable essential economic and services sectors.
Additionally, FMM said the Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s (TNB) Maximum Demand charge for May 2021 should be waived given that industries have already been on a reduced workforce of 60% from May 25 2021 and the period of lockdown just announced which could possibly be from June to July 2021.
It also asked the TNB to continue with the electricity rebate for the next six months from July to December 2021, among others.
During the lockdown, FMM said the government should further extend the effective period of the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Covid-19 Act 2020 on the inability to perform contractual obligations to beyond June 30, 2021 and expand the Act to provide provision for relief for manufacturing and other manufacturing related services such as trading or distributorship and logistics which are currently not included/
“Provide free nationwide mass Covid-19 screening test; and accelerate the mass immunisation programme through a parallel vaccination implementation by private hospitals and clinics. FMM also hopes that the vaccination for
the economic sectors, through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Immunisation Initiative, will be expedited to achieve faster herd immunity,” it said.