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Move ‘immediately’ into Phase 2 once Phase 1 ends, FMM tells govt

FMM In The News: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY, PETALING JAYA, Thursday, June 24, 2021 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has called for Putrajaya to “immediately” move into the second phase of the full movement control order when Phase 1 ends.

Its president, Soh Thian Lai, said the first phase of the total lockdown had been challenging with even the essential sectors struggling due to reduced capacity and operational difficulties.

Overall, he said the industry was at a precarious and fragile position with revenue and cashflow severely affected by the inability to meet contractual global supply chain obligations.

He added that export commitments with order deliveries delayed or cancelled had led to mounting legal action from customers.

“Given the dire state of the business community as a result of this round of the lockdown, FMM appeals to the government to move to Phase 2 of the FMCO immediately following the end of Phase 1,” he said.

Soh added that the government should also allow more essential economic sectors to operate and increase the operational capacity to 80%.

Non-essential economic sectors, he said, should be allowed to operate, but with a smaller workforce to ensure social distancing.

Critical sectors, liked those linked to iron, steel and cement, should be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

Soh also said that raids by enforcement agencies should be more coordinated to ensure operations are not disrupted.

Factories, he said, had experienced multiple raids by different enforcement agencies, who also have different interpretations of the SOPs and approvals by the international trade and industry ministry.

“If these are not considered, it could lead to permanent and irreversible damage to businesses and the economy.”

Science, technology and innovation minister Khairy Jamaluddin earlier today dismissed the assumption that Phase 1 would end on June 28. He said it was targeted to end in July.

The assumption that it ends on Monday is because that is when the current lockdown ends.

Soh also said it was disheartening that the industry had been continuously singled out on workplace clusters despite data released by the health ministry revealing that 69% of the total 578,105 Covid-19 cases recorded this year until June 19 were sporadic cases.

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