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Not enough protection in Covid-19 bill, say manufacturers

FMM In The News: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY, KUALA LUMPUR, Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said today the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)) Bill 2020 does not provide sufficient protection for its members affected by the pandemic.

It said in a statement that too few types of scheduled contracts were covered which could leave certain sectors exposed by the legislation.

“With the exception of supply of construction material and equipment, the bill does not cover other manufacturing related sectors and their supply chains.”

It said contracts relating to services such as distribution, trading, shipping, transportation and warehousing were among those left out of the bill.

FMM also said the bill lacked clarity as “it is unclear how businesses can initiate the proceedings to claim temporary relief under the legislation”.

While the legislation had a mediation provision to help settle contract disputes that might arise, FMM said it was not comprehensive enough.

“Although the bill has a mediation provision, mediation however is not compulsory and if mediation fails, there is no further recourse for the two parties.”

The bill places a moratorium on seeking court proceedings, arbitration or bankruptcy actions against companies who fail to deliver on contracted work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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