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Manufacturers group proposes targeted lockdown to break chain of Covid-19 infections

FMM In The News: MALAY MAIL, KUALA LUMPUR, Sunday, June 27, 2021 — The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has proposed to the government to consider state or area-specific lockdown measures to break the chain of Covid-19 infections. 

President Datuk Soh Thian Lai said the federation fears that more businesses would either close or retrench workers as most companies, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises, are desperately cash-strapped with no business activity allowed.

“To minimise the impact on both the industry and economy, states/areas where the cases are lower and under control should be allowed to operate without any distinction between essential and non-essential sectors.

“Lockdown measures should be targeted at areas where there is the highest number of infections to enable the pandemic chain to be broken,” he said in a statement today.

Soh claimed that the government’s decision to extend Phase One of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) was met with great disappointment and despair by the business community, in particular the manufacturing sector.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Phase One of the NRP, which is scheduled to end Monday (June 28), will be extended as the number of Covid-19 infections in the country has not dipped below the threshold of 4,000 cases required to move to the next phase.

Meanwhile, Soh also noted the negative effect on Malaysia’s competitiveness due to the prolonged lockdown as the country is a key regional manufacturing hub for many industries that are part of the global supply chains.

In a separate statement, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) expressed concerns over the prolonged Full movement control order (FMCO) period, stating that it could escalate the present stressful situation to the economy and society.

President Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman hopes the government could introduce new measures by allowing employers that are able to comply and adhere to the established standard operating procedures (SOPs) to resume and operate their businesses fully.

“There has to be some relaxation to allow people to conduct business and this needs to be done urgently.

“We need to realise that the fight against Covid-19 is not only about implementing a full lockdown,” he said.

According to Syed Hussain, the lockdown “really hurts the employers, employees, the rakyat and the nation”. — Bernama

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