Industry players want list of businesses operating in EMCO areas

MITI recently announced that more sectors from non-essential services in the EMCO areas will not be allowed to operate

by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MANY industries are pleading to the government to reconsider closing more sectors in areas undergoing the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) recently announced that more sectors from non-essential services in the EMCO areas will not be allowed to operate following Cabinet decisions.

Industry players said as it is, many industries are already struggling to recover and meet demands, therefore, the cease operation order will further exacerbate the industrial loss.

SME Association of Malaysia national VP Chin Chee Seong suggested that the government come up with a more comprehensive list of products and industries that can be operated, such as automobile maintenance, workshops, information technology, mobile and electrical service repair, among others.

This will allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses to streamline their operation.

“Furthermore, one person’s essential needs differ from another. For example, certain food items are staple for a particular family but not for their neighbours,” he said.

Chin added that instead of restricting specific industries, the ministry could look into specific zones. Non-red zones and areas with low cases of infection should be allowed to operate business as usual, he said.

Last Wednesday, MITI said more sectors will be allowed to operate in the areas under the EMCO.

MITI said the electrical and electronics sector and its supply chains; aerospace sector (maintenance, repair and overhaul), machinery and equipment sector for the production of healthcare and food products and the key food and beverages (F&B) manufacturing companies are now allowed to operate from today.

The list of key F&B products is available in the standard operating procedures for the manufacturing sector, which can be accessed at www.miti.gov.my.

“MITI wishes to affirm that this decision demonstrates the importance and significance of these sectors in supporting the production of goods in the global supply chain, as well as the critical production of health and F&B products in the country,” it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd MD Datuk Ameer Mydin (picture) said the urgency of lockdown to contain the virus is understandable, but the government should consider more strategic approaches to combat the Covid-19 crisis.

“The idea is to restrict movements, not restrict what people can purchase.

“Allow the public to buy whatever they want, but limit the number of people who can enter the premises, as well as their movement,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur and Selangor manufacturing activities contribute a huge sum toward the GDP growth, therefore, the restriction will deter the overall production chain since SMEs rely on the factories in these areas, Ameer added.

The Malaysian Reserve recently reported that businesses, especially SMEs are on the brink of collapsing if lockdowns are prolonged until October.

Given this situation, businesses will face greater hardship until the MCO is abolished, owing to the impact of business shutdown.

Despite the battle, one sector which could see a bright potential for recovery this year is the aviation sector.