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FMM urges state govts to facilitate restart of economic sectors

FMM In The News: THE EDGE MARKETS, KUALA LUMPUR, Sunday, May 3, 2020 -  All state governments must support the Federal Government’s decision to allow most of the economic sectors and business activities to resume operations tomorrow under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said.

It said there are business inter-linkages between states and stopping work in certain states would lead to major disruptions in the supply chain of goods and services, thus impacting the people’s livelihood.

“It may also cause problems to the movement of workers who have to travel interstate for work,” FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said in a statement today.

FMM believes that the Federal Government’s decision is based on sound data and considerations, particularly by the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council which is the apex authority in this pandemic situation, he said.

Moreover, the operations of all sectors and businesses under the CMCO will continue to be governed by the respective standard operating procedures (SOPs).

As such, he said, strict compliance of these conditions would ensure that businesses would be conducted in an orderly and controlled manner, especially by the employers who are overall responsible for the well-being of their employees.

Soh also pointed out that fear of infections and spread of the virus among employees in businesses located in the Enhanced MCO areas should be diminished as businesses there are not permitted to resume operations.

As a result, there should be no direct restrictions from state governments to stop companies from resuming operations tomorrow, he said.

“The decision to resume operations should be left to the individual business owners,” he said, adding that companies that have ceased operating since March 18 require a few days to get their operations in order.

Factories, in particular, operate under controlled environment and all employers must ensure strict adherence to the SOPs, especially on social distancing, sanitisation, disinfecting workspaces, and daily temperature as well as health checks, Soh said.

With these strict SOPs in place, employers would be able to ensure early detection of any abnormal cases and have them tested, treated and provide contact tracing details of affected workers to the authorities.

He said FMM continues to urge the industry to recognise the “new normal” in the way business will be conducted and implement business continuity planning by expanding flexible work arrangements to allow people work remotely and safe.

“Considering the importance of balancing public health with economic sustainability and the people’s well-being, FMM hopes that the state governments can play their part to cooperate with the Federal Government to facilitate the restart of the economy from May 4 onwards,” he added.

Established in 1968, FMM represents over 10,000 member companies from the manufacturing supply chain.

Several states have said they will be delaying the implementation of the CMCO, including Sabah, Sarawak, Pahang, Penang and Kedah.

Some states are doing thorough study on the implications and others are preparing their guidelines.

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