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Allow import, export activities during lockdown — FMM

FMM In The News: THE EDGE MARKETS, KUALA LUMPUR, Saturday, May 29, 2021: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) urged the government to allow activities in the import and export sectors — including ports, warehousing and transportation of goods — to continue during the total lockdown period.

In a statement today, it also hopes manufacturing industries with contractual export orders would be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity, even if they are not in the essential economic sectors. 

FMM also suggested for the government to allow industries to undertake plant maintenance, adding that those with furnaces and kilns that need to continue running on a 24/7 basis and cannot be shut down should be allowed to operate with 20 per cent workforce capacity.

"In this regard, FMM acknowledges that the government has always maintained a balance between protecting lives and livelihood all the while but unfortunately, the alarming spike in the number of cases this week had led to the decision to institute a total lockdown," it said.

The federation said it is heartened to note the Prime Minister’s Office statement on Friday that the Finance Ministry will work on an assistance package for the people and economic sectors affected by the lockdown.

"FMM wishes to reiterate that the government must urgently support industries during this crucial period with the necessary financial assistances and initiatives, including allocating a Special Relief Fund to assist companies, especially the small and medium enterprises.

In addition to a three month automatic moratorium from June 1, 2021, it also hopes that the government can reinstate the Wage Subsidy Programme for all industries and suspend or extend the payment date for all statutory contributions, given that operations would be in total lockdown, except those in the essential sectors.

The federation also urged the government to waive the Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s Maximum Demand charge for May 2021, given that industries have already been on a reduced workforce of 60 per cent from May 25, 2021, and continue with the electricity rebate for the next six months from July to December 2021.

It said the government should also suspend Gas Malaysia Bhd's Take or Pay (TOP) in gas off-take agreement for May 2021 from May 25, 2021 and for the period of lockdown just announced, which could possibly be from June to July 2021.

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