PETALING JAYA: The RM10bil stimulus package unveiled by the government will provide more relief to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), but the devil’s in the details, some associations have noted.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang (pic) said the stimulus package announced by the Prime Minister has broadened the number of employers receiving government support.
“The wage subsidy, which now has more categories, provides better relief for more SMEs and tourism enterprises, and gives them more breathing space.
“However, we urge the government to reassess the situation in three months’ time and consider extending this (initiative), because it is virtually impossible for the hospitality and tourism industry to recover in three months, ” he said when contacted on Monday (April 6).
He added that the companies leasing vehicles to tour transport operators should also follow Bank Negara's six-month moratorium on loans.
Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Datuk Seri Garry Chua said the latest stimulus package was a “big improvement” from the previous announcement.
He said that many smaller SMEs would benefit from the wage subsidy, although bigger players with larger workforces may still struggle.
“However, this aid must be disbursed immediately, it cannot wait any longer. Many companies already cannot pay salaries, ” he said.
He said obtaining rental waivers from building owners in the private sector would remain difficult, even with the tax deductions the government is offering.
Electricity discounts, he said, of up to 30% should also be given to shopping malls.
Meanwhile, the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap said they were glad that the government considered their requests to address problems faced by businesses.
“We are pleased that the package has taken care of the plight of micro-businesses through special grants and zero interest rate loans, ” he said.
He added that the revised categories for the wage subsidies is also “timely financial relief” to employers.
He also lauded the fact that the government is encouraging mutual discussion between employers and employees concerning options such as pay cuts and unpaid leave during the movement control order (MCO) period.
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