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FMM calls for govt to allow certain manufacturing sectors to continue operating

FMM In The News: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY, Petaling Jaya, Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has called for the government to allow certain manufacturing sectors to continue operating during the movement control order (MCO) due to prohibitive costs to shut down and recommission equipment.

While FMM welcomed the international trade and industry ministry’s (Miti) announcement of the list of economic sectors in the essential services allowed to operate during the MCO period earlier today, the group noted that several key manufacturing sectors have not been included.

“(This) includes the non-PPE related textile and apparel manufacturers, the majority of the ceramic product manufacturers including sanitary ware manufacturers, glass manufacturers, toy manufacturers, stationery product manufacturers and footwear manufacturers – who are all mainly export-oriented industries and would have export obligations to meet,” FMM president Soh Thian Lai said.

“Included in this group are also industries that have processes/equipment that must run on a 24-hour basis like the cement, ceramic and glass manufacturers and cannot be shut down as the cost to shut down and recommission the equipment will be very costly to the industry.  

“Due consideration should be given to these companies to continue to operate during this MCO period,” he added.  

FMM also urged the government to continue relief assistance packages – more so for those companies not allowed to operate – in the form of wage subsidies and targeted bank loan moratoriums.  

Soh said the government should also consider an exemption, reduction or delay of some statutory payments such as the EPF, Socso contributions, HRDF levy and others.  

Further energy cost discounts to mitigate some of the cost implications during the MCO period was another suggestion Soh raised.  

He added that the manufacturing industry is cognisant of the fact that all efforts must be taken to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 infections and will continue to strictly observe SOPs and relevant precautionary measures.


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