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FMM: Open all economic sectors immediately

FMM In The News: NEW STRAITS TIMES, KUALA LUMPUR, Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - The government has been urged to allow the resumption of all economic sector activities at once or face permanent closure of more businesses or worse, plunging into a potential economic recession.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the opening up of all economic sectors should be done right away based on company-level Covid-19 vaccination rates.

"Failing this, more businesses will have to fold up operations with irreparable damage to the economy and there is a risk of going into a recession with a long recovery period. The industry is most concerned with the prolonged closure of the non-essential sectors for almost three months now.

"While FMM notes and welcomes the relaxation of restrictions for individuals who have been fully vaccinated, we look forward to similar easing of restrictions on the business sectors which is desperately needed to ensure business viability as many are at the brink of collapse due to the extended business closure," said Soh in a statement today.

Soh added that it was globally evident that fast rollout of vaccination was the answer to the reopening and revival of economies regardless of the continued threats of resurgence of cases due to the new and more virulent variants of the Covid-19 virus.

With the acceleration of the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme, Soh said it was imperative for the government to immediately remove the segregation of essential and non-essential sectors.

"Businesses are interconnected where the continuation of operations of the so-called essential sectors require the support from the non-essential sectors for inputs and critical services.

"Much effort, time and financial resources have been deployed by employers to ramp up their company's vaccination rate as they recognise it is their only ticket to returning to normalcy in their business operations and sustainability.

"In this regard, FMM reiterates its call on the government to immediately allow all economic sectors to resume operations based on company's level vaccination rates with continued strict adherence to the standard operating procedures and periodical Covid-19 screening of workers," said Soh.

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