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FMM PRESS STATEMENT: Industries Urgently Need Financial Assistance to Survive The Devastating Impact During Period of Total Lockdown

Kuala Lumpur, May 29, 2021 – The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) notes the announcement by YAB Prime Minister yesterday on the decision to implement a total lockdown starting with Phase 1 with full closure of the social and economic sectors (except for essential economic and service sector) from June 1, 2021 to June 14, 2021 following the current serious and alarming situation of the Covid-19 transmission in the country with more virulent new variants with high and rapid infectious rates.

FMM has been consistent in not favouring a total lockdown due to the irreparable damage to the economy and livelihood. In this regard, FMM acknowledges that the Government has always maintained a balance between protecting lives and livelihood all this while but unfortunately, the alarming spike in the number of the Covid-19 infection cases this week had led to the decision by the Government to institute a total lockdown.

FMM maintains that a total lockdown is going to have a devastating acute impact on business survival and employment given that many companies, especially SMEs, are barely on their road to recovery from the impact of the pandemic. If businesses are unassisted by the Government, this lockdown could lead to their closure and significant job losses where the numbers could hit one million or more.  

In this regard, FMM is heartened to note from the Media Statement issued by Prime Minister’s Office yesterday (May 28,2021) that the Ministry of Finance will work on an assistance package for the affected rakyat and economic sectors. FMM wishes to reiterate that the Government must urgently support industries during this crucial period with the necessary financial assistances and initiatives including allocating a Special Relief Fund to assist companies, especially the SMEs as follows:

  • Automatic bank loan moratorium for at least 3 months or more effective from June 1, 2021;

  • Reinstate the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) for all industries for the phases of the lockdown period with RM800 – RM1,000 / employee;

  • Suspend or extend the payment date for all statutory contributions given that operations would be in total lockdown except for the allowable essential economic and services sectors;
  • Waive TNB’s Maximum Demand charge for May 2021 given that industries have already been on a reduced workforce of 60% from May 25 2021 and the period of lockdown just announced which could possibly be from June to July 2021;
  • Continue with the electricity rebate for the next six months from July to December 2021;

  • Suspend Gas Malaysia's Take or Pay (TOP) in gas off-take agreement for May 2021 given that industries have already been on a reduced capacity of 60% from May 25,2021 and the period of lockdown just announced which could possibly be from June to July 2021.

  • Allow manufacturing industries with contractual export orders to operate at 50% capacity even if they are not in the essential economic sectors;

  • All import and export activities to continue including ports, warehousing and all goods transport activities

  • Allow industries to undertake maintenance of plant as well as those with furnaces and kilns that need to continue running on a 24/7 basis and cannot be shutdown to operate with 20% workforce capacity;

In addition, FMM calls on the Government to:

  • Further extend the effective period of the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of COVID-19 Act 2020 on the inability to perform contractual obligations to beyond June 30, 2021 and expand the Act to provide provision for relief for manufacturing and other manufacturing related services such as trading or distributorship and logistics which are currently not included;

  • Provide free nationwide mass Covid-19 screening test; and  

  • Accelerate the mass immunisation programme through a parallel vaccination implementation by private hospitals and clinics. FMM also hopes that the vaccination for the economic sectors, through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Immunisation Initiative, will be expedited to achieve faster herd immunity.

 

Tan Sri Dato’ Soh Thian Lai

President, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers

FMM Advocates Transparency, Integrity and No Corruption

About FMM

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has been the voice of the Malaysian manufacturing sector since 1968. Representing over 10,000 member companies (3,000 direct and 7,000 indirect) from the manufacturing supply chain, FMM is actively engaged with government and its key agencies at Federal, State and local levels. FMM is also well-linked with international organisations, Malaysian businesses and civil society. Apart from benefitting from FMM’s advocacy, FMM members enjoy value-add services, including training, business networking and trade opportunities as well as regular information updates.

Media Enquiries

Han Mong Ying, Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs |Tel:03-6286 7200 |Email: webmaster@fmm.org.my


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