Help pandemic-hit businesses recover instead of piling more burdens on them, govt told

Johor Mentri Besar’s adviser Datuk Tee Siew Kiong (left) had a discussion with Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad after handing out a total of RM500,000 to 21 charity bodies at Kota Iskandar, Iskandar Puteri in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: The Federal Government should refrain from coming up with policies and conditions that make it difficult for businesses in the current economic climate, says a Johor leader.

Johor Mentri Besar adviser Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said businesses were already having a hard time restarting operations after suffering losses since the Covid-19 pandemic started last year.

“The government should stop coming up with ‘pattern baru’ or new conditions all the time as the unreasonable rules will make it tough for recovering businesses.

“Instead, it should assist them and make it easier for them to conduct business, which contributes to the nation’s economy and creates job opportunities for the people.

“This matter should be taken seriously as easing up on businesses will also improve the people’s lives and lighten the government’s burden too,” he said after witnessing Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad distribute a total of RM500,000 to 21 charity bodies at Kota Iskandar here on Wednesday (Dec 8).

He was referring to recent reports that the Customs Department had required coffee shops and restaurants nationwide to apply for liquor licences starting next year.

Meanwhile, Tee, who is also the Pontian MCA chairman, said the government should focus on finding measures to tackle the rising prices of goods that are currently burdening the people.

“While the rising cost of goods is a global issue due to production and logistics costs, goods are rising in price but salaries are not increasing, which (compounds) the people’s financial and mental stresses.

“The pandemic has affected the livelihood of many for almost two years so the government must start having inter-department discussions for effective measures to counter this issue and prevent a domino effect on the economy,” he said.

He added that the prices of goods have been rising for some time and there were signs that they would keep going up until next year.

“Existing measures such as calling on consumers to report price manipulation and rigged costs to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, conducting checks and issuing compound notices have been unable to solve the problem.

“The government should explore more effective solutions to handle the matter immediately where action should be taken to control the price of items as opposed to only taking action after there is an increase in price,” he added.

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