Johor’s furniture industry confident it will survive pandemic with govt help

Ong: Furniture manufacturers are optimistic about the continuous international and domestic orders so far.

THE furniture manufacturing industry remains optimistic during the Covid-19 pandemic despite expecting to record losses this year.

Federation of Johor Furniture Manufacturers and Traders Associations president Steve Ong Yeou Huan said that when the first movement control order was enforced in March last year, industries across the board were forced to delay their production.

The initial setback brought on by the pandemic caused many in the furniture industry to face losses in the first quarter of last year, he said.

“Luckily, the furniture industry managed to bounce back and we are optimistic about the continuous international and domestic orders we have received so far.

“Last year, Malaysia’s furniture sector recorded about RM12.86bil in exports, which was an increase compared to the RM11.14bil recorded in 2019,” said Ong, who was recently re-elected as the federation’s 25th president for the 2021-2023 term.

He said the federation projected a 25% drop in furniture exports this year.

Johor, particularly Muar, produced about 70% of Malaysia’s furniture, he added.

“The reality is that many countries are stopping and resuming work at different stages because of the Covid-19 pandemic and this has affected the global supply chain.

“The rise in prices of raw materials and short supply of storage

containers are some of the issues we are currently facing, but we believe these are short-term problems that will improve as time passes,” said Ong.

Aside from suggesting that the government and banks provide financial assistance for small and medium enterprises to tide them through the pandemic, he also hoped the government could have more engagements with industry players to address foreign labour issues.

“Although the number of foreign labourers used in the furniture industry is less than 3% of the overall foreign labour population in the country, they are contributing to bringing in billions of ringgit for the economy.

“While many companies are adopting Industrial Revolution 4.0 in their businesses with sophisticated and high-end machinery, the furniture manufacturing process still requires the human touch.

“This simply cannot be completely replaced by machines.

“I hope the government and its relevant departments can understand our need for a clearer foreign labour policy to help the industry become more competitive in the international market and get Malaysia back on the top 10 list of furniture producers in the world,” he said.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Metro News

Three markets in KL close for sanitisation exercise
MCA: Allow retailers to reopen as more get vaccinated
New vaccination centre in Puchong a boost for Selangor’s efforts
Durian picked up from orchards daily
Growing concern over illegal stalls
Kinta factory operators unsuccessful in getting aid
Organise vaccination for staff, oil and gas companies told
Sungai Masai in need of flood mitigation measures
Varsities turn their halls into vaccination centres
20,000 to benefit from food aid

Stories You'll Enjoy