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Another MCO will lead to collapse of businesses, warns manufacturers

FMM In The News: NEW STRAITS TIMES, KUALA LUMPUR, Thursday, January 7, 2021 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has raised concerns that a second round of the Movement Control Order (MCO) can lead to the collapse of businesses and industries in Malaysia.

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said business and economic activities must be allowed to continue, albeit under stricter Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

"We support a targeted Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which is more localised coupled with stricter SOP and travel restrictions but not a total lockdown similar to that implemented in March 2020.

"Breaking the chain of infection is of utmost importance and must involve a concerted effort of both the public and private sectors.

"But, it must not involve a second round of total lockdown," he said.

Soh said the business fraternity is still reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the first lockdown, and most have yet to rebuild their businesses back to the pre-Covid-19 level.

"Apart from substantial drop in revenue and financial losses, businesses also faced severe challenges in terms of sustainability, employment and productivity during the MCO between March and April last year.

"Should a second total lockdown be instituted, there is grave fear over the collapse of the business sector and economy given that the several major states serve as the country's economic hubs," he said in a statement today.

Soh said feedback received from FMM members found that a movement control order lasting for four weeks and more will reduce business sustainability by about one to three months.

"There are also grave concerns on whether the government can continue to provide financial aid to businesses, especially wage subsidies and loan moratoriums, to the rakyat impacted by a second total lockdown.

"This is because most of the aid given by the government which has been instrumental in supporting the recovery of businesses and ensuring job security will be ending soon," he said.

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