Meeting held to decide on operation of supply chain

PETALING JAYA: The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) held a meeting with the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) to discuss the industries and suppliers along the supply chain that should be allowed to operate during the movement control order.

“The chambers and industry associations are compiling a list of firms and suppliers in the respective industry or sector for submission to Miti and relevant ministries for consideration, ” said NCCIM president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap.

“What’s discussed include preparing the SOP to safeguard health.

“It is the collective responsibility of everyone to protect public health. The socio-economic losses will be far bigger if we don’t act. It’s short-term pain for long-term gain, ” he added.

A hair salon operator, who only wants to be known as Ho, said he hoped the government would allow his shop to open on certain days of the week, as many of his regulars had complained about unruly hair.

“Maybe we can be allowed to operate for three days in a week for a certain number of hours.

“We can still adhere to social distancing rules by limiting the number of customers inside the shop, ” he said, adding that those queuing outside could also practise social distancing.

Although it had been hard, Ho said he was more concerned about his staff’s safety, adding that he had applied for a loan to pay full salaries to his four employees.

Lai Kian Khee, a mechanic who runs a workshop in Rasau, Klang, said spare parts suppliers should be allowed to operate also.

“Without the suppliers, I cannot repair any car without the required parts, ” said Lai, adding that during the MCO period, he was only able to fix small problems or provide normal periodic service where the necessary parts and items are in stock.

“For other repairs, the customers will have to wait, ” he added.

Accountant Christine Koh, 36, said businesses that supported essential services were important to ensure the uninterrupted chain of supply in Malaysians getting what they need during the MCO.

“Food is an essential item but so are factories making its packaging.

“While transport is necessary, it is important to have workshops open during breakdowns. The same goes for spare parts suppliers.

“These businesses are not listed as essential services but they are necessary and should be allowed to operate, ” she said.

Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia president Datuk Soam Heng Choon said that the association has been in discussion with the authorities over the last two weeks on the matter.

“Our industry has links with another 140 industries and employs over 1.4 million people, ” he said.

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