German chambers tell PM to provide better policy clarity


Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) reiterated its call for the government to provide better clarity on the Covid standard operating procedures (SOP) as well as ramp up the vaccination drive to ensure their businesses’ survivability.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin sighted by The Malaysian Reserve (TMR), MGCC said the ever-changing SOP in line with the change of Movement Control Order (MCO) to the Enhanced MCO (EMCO) status led to confusions not only in terms of implementation but also enforcement, including from the police and International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) itself.

” The EMCO is not yet reflected in MITI CIMS 3.0 system but manufacturing companies depend on MITI exemption letters to operate and allow their staff to safely come to work and return home.

In one case, an essential classification (example: fragrances which are necessary for soaps and sanitizers) was revoked over night without any notification or explanation. In other cases, PDRM (police) insisted on MITI exemption letters although the companies do not fall under the purview of MITI,” the letter read.

MGCC said that its members are increasingly worried of a collapse of the supply chain if only certain sectors are allowed to operate but the supplying industries cannot do so.

“If certain sectors are allowed to operate, but suppliers of packaging, raw materials, parts and components as well as logistics cannot work or can only operate on very minimal capacity, the supply chain will be disrupted and eventually break down which will have dire effects for Malaysia,” it said.

“If companies in certain sectors are allowed to operate, all related industries have to operate as well because otherwise the supply chain will collapse. We urge you to ramp up vaccination efforts as our members are well prepared to pay for the vaccines and organise vaccination of their staff,” MGCC added.

MGCC CEO Daniel Bernbeck previously told TMR that these uncertain directions are difficult for the German business community in Malaysia, where 90% have seen their businesses adversely affected by the pandemic.

Last month, he told TMR that its members are afraid that the herd immunity in Malaysia will only be achieved by mid-2022, which would hold back any immediate economic recovery plan.

“Increase the number of vaccinations from below 80,000 to 400,000 per day in order to achieve herd immunity in 2021 instead of 2022,” he said.

“Speed up the permission of vaccine procurement by private hospitals and industries to allow the private sector to support the efforts. They can do that at their own costs (based on international and not marked-up prices) which will save public funds necessary for recovery,” Bernbeck added.