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FMM: Move to Phase Two of FMCO after June 28, allow more economic sectors to operate

FMM In The News: THE EDGE MARKETS, KUALA LUMPUR, Thursday, June 24, 2021 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) is appealing to the Government to move to Phase Two of the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) immediately after the end of Phase One on June 28.

This includes expanding the economic sectors that are allowed to operate and the capacity of operations,  FMM said in a statement today.

FMM also suggested several other measures to be implemented in tandem with Phase Two, to avoid permanent and irreversible damage to businesses and the economy:

The measures are:
• Extend the essential economic and services sectors approved to operate to include an en-bloc approval of the entire supply chain and increase the workforce capacity to 80%,
• Allow manufacturing industries in the non-essential economic sectors that have smaller workforce and are able to ensure proper social distancing at the workplace and those with contractual export orders to operate at 50% capacity on a 24/7 basis, and
• Allow critical manufacturing sectors e.g. iron and steel, cement, etc to operate at 50% capacity.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had unveiled the National Recovery Plan on June 15, comprising four phases of exit strategy to help Malaysia bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis.

FMM, in its statement, also appealed for the enforcement agencies to be more coordinated with their spot checks and raids on factories so as not to cause undue disruption to company operations.

"Factories have to face multiple raids by different enforcement agencies who also have different interpretations of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) approvals.

“Greater emphasis and focus should be placed by the authorities on containing the sporadic cases which is the main cause of the spike in infection cases recently," it said.

(crosshead) Call for another RM200 bil stimulus package

FMM also reiterated its call for the government to further pump prime the economy with an RM200 billion stimulus package with RM30 billion direct fiscal injection to ensure that businesses are able to sustain jobs and operations given that the recovery period of most industries have now been reversed as a result of the lockdown and would impact the overall growth of the economy in 2021.

“There must therefore be more focus to support the private sector to restore resilience and sustainability in tandem with the ongoing immunisation programme efforts which will ultimately bring us back to some level of business normalcy,” it added.

FMM lauded Putrajaya’s efforts to rapidly increase the rate of vaccination to achieve the herd immunity target as soon as possible.

“We understand that so far, 14% of the population have at least received their first dose. FMM has been consistent in its call to the Government to expedite the vaccination of economic frontliners and we welcome the commencement of the Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) for the manufacturing sector by MITI to accelerate the immunisation of the economic sector and expedite business recovery," it said.

FMM also expressed unhappiness that the industry has also been continuously singled out on workplace clusters when data released by the Ministry of Health showed that 398,846 of the total 578,105 or 69% of Covid-19 cases recorded this year until June 19 were sporadic cases i.e. cases that were detected in the community and could not be associated with any existing clusters.

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