KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s decision not to implement a full-scale movement control order (MCO) has the support of chamber of commerce, industry, and small and medium enterprise (SME) associations.
The SME Association of Malaysia said a total lockdown this time around might cause 40 per cent of SMEs to shut down and many multinational corporations to relocate their manufacturing operations to other countries.
"It was anticipated that two million people would lose their jobs and livelihood if the lockdown was imposed," its national president, Datuk Michael Kang said in a statement today.
Last Sunday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that imposing a full-pledged lockdown will cost the government half a trillion ringgit, which Malaysia cannot afford right now.
Applauding Muhyiddin for his courageous decision, the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MICCI) said the prime minister recognised that economic activities provide the government with the revenues needed to protect lives by ensuring continuous medical facilities, vaccines, financial assistance, and jobs for the people.
The chamber also pointed out that case studies have shown that a full-blown lockdown is not the solution as it damages the people’s livelihood and merely confining the virus to continue to incubate in the locked-in workers at their dormitories.
In fact, the workplace is the safest as businesses can control standard operating procedures (SOPs) and no business will purposely undertake any non-SOP activity that will jeopardise its business, it said.
As Malaysia reached a record number of 7,289 new Covid-19 cases infections yesterday, Industries Unite said it is imperative that the country avoid a 'knee-jerk' reaction based on fear.
"The government has the requisite data, and we support any move to balance life, livelihood and national interest.
"We support a decision that prioritises the welfare of the public at large based on science and accurate data," said Industries Unite, a coalition of more than 110 business groups.
It urges the government to accelerate the vaccination process and do what is necessary to reduce the impact of the MCO on the lives of members of the public and businesses. - Bernama