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FMM hails govt's national Covid-19 vaccination programme

FMM In The News: NEW STRAITS TIMES, KUALA LUMPUR, Friday, February 5, 2021 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has welcomed the national Covid-19 vaccination programme and hopes the vaccines will be rolled out expeditiously and effectively.

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai also expressed hope that the country's workforce can benefit from the third phase of the vaccination programme, which will commence in May 2021, to support the country's economic recovery.

"In addition, since there have been little details on the availability of the vaccines for non-Malaysians, we hope due consideration will be given to foreign workers as they are also key contributors supporting our economic activities and growth.  

"There must also be an action plan to address the illegal foreign workers in the country as this group poses a big threat to the nation," he said in a statement today.   

Soh also said the manufacturing sector welcomes the government's clarification on the Emergency Ordinance and the key actions that have been taken by the government via the Emergency Management Technical Committee.   

"This includes the proposed amendments to several Acts to tighten the standard operating procedures (SOP) and enhance enforcement, asset takeovers and reorganisation of the necessary resources to support the public health services and bolster efforts to combat Covid-19.   

Soh said the SOPs have to be tightened to stem the tide of Covid-19 infections, especially as more and more workplace and manufacturing clusters are being detected. 

However, he called for enforcement efforts to be streamlined across agencies and to be conducted according to the SOPs announced by the government. 

"Orders for the immediate closure of businesses that are not compliant to SOPs and operating conditions must only be taken after considering some key challenges faced by the industry, including those that require the full cooperation of other key stakeholders such as the local councils when it comes to compliance to Act 446 on housing of foreign workers," he said. 

Soh said local manufacturers are also disappointed that the government has yet to reopen the remaining economic sectors which were excluded from the list of essential services approved to operate earlier. 

"These sectors include the textile, apparel and footwear industries, as well as the entire supply chain including retail and other industries/sectors that may be indirectly supporting the essential services as well as major export oriented companies. 

"These sectors cannot afford to remain closed over this extended Movement Control Order (MCO) period as the closure hurts their business tremendously," he said.

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