As the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia escalates to the next level, the international business communities that have operations in our nation have expressed their concerns towards the Malaysian Government’s policies to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Both the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) as well as the Japanese Chamber of Trade and Industry Malaysia (JACTIM) have sent official letters to our Prime Minister, Prime Minister, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to request his government to immediately take appropriate action to address their concerns.
In the statement from MGCC, they have expressed their concerns regarding the ever-changing and confusion SOP to tackle Covid-19. This had inevitably caused damaged to not only the local business, but the sustainability of their member companies during the crisis.
MGCC said that if this situation continues, their member companies may have to shutdown their operations in Malaysia and move out to other countries instead. MGCC also warns of the consequences, where there could be a massive layoff in the event these companies are relocating.
Nonetheless, MGCC pointed out the confusing and inconsistent SOP enforcements that the Malaysian Government had imposed, including:
- The enforcement of the EMCO in most of Selangor and KL are yet to be reflected in MITI CIMS 3.0 system, hence companies can’t operate even though they are considered essential.
- Some essential classifications was revoked overnight without notification or explanation.
- PDRM insisting on MITI exemption letters even though the companies do not fall under the purview of MITI.
Besides, MGCC also highlighted the distruption of the supply chain in our country. The example they gave were Schaefer Kalk (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which operates a limestone factory in Kedah but they weren’t allowed to fully operate its quarry. This led to the factory being forced to shutdown as they do not have adequate supply and it would then take them several weeks before they can restart production.
They added that limestone is needed for water treatment and the closing down of the factory has impacted Malaysia’s water supply as well.
Nonetheless, they have expressed their concerns regarding the safety of the expatriates and their families in our country too. As to tackle these problems, MGCC had suggested the following measures to the Malaysian Government to curb the Covid-19 spread.
- Clear SOPs and consistent standard of enforcement.
- Increase enforcement officers in all states with clear directives.
- Increased controls at manufacturing facilities and in particular, related dormitories.
- Re-open industries with strict SOP guidelines to avoid supply chain disruption.
- Clarity of PIKAS.
- Increased effort to vaccinate and open private vaccination programmes.
- Re-open counter services at Immigration in all states, ESD and MDEC.
- Immigration facilitation for expats and their families including legal status for those pending pass sticker endorsement.
On the other hand, JACTIM share the same views with MGCC, where they had sent an official letter to our Prime Minister on 6 July. JACTIM started their statement with gratitude towards the Malaysian Government for their efforts in combating Covid-19.
Nonetheless, they added that all their member companies in the EMCO areas have strictly followed the SOPs and had suspended their operations. As of the EMCO, the industry they are in are badly affected and many of their member companies are now facing a risk of closing down.
To avoid this situation, JACTIM had made 4 urgent requests to the Malaysian Government, including:
- Permission for 10% warm idle operations in Selangor.
- Expediting the vaccination programmes in Selangor.
- Resuming operations for the Automative and Steel/Iron industries.
- Permission to operate for the manufacturing-related services.
At the same time, JACTIM strongly suggests the Malaysian Government to properly evaluate the effects and impacts brought by the current restrictions.
Do you think that our government have receive the strong message from these organisations? Share your thoughts with us.