Businesses ready and aware

PETALING JAYA: Businesses, both large and small, are not only eager to resume operations on Monday, but are equally determined to embrace safety precautions tailored for a pandemic.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai (pic) said in a statement that it was essential for employers to continue ensuring the safety and well-being of employees to reduce the spread of Covid-19 at the workplace.

“FMM takes cognisance that businesses must recognise the ‘new normal’ in the way business will be conducted henceforth, and will continue to remind the industry to strictly continue observing precautionary measures stipulated in the government’s standard operating procedure (SOP) for operations, ” Soh said, adding that FMM was urging manufacturers to implement business continuity planning measures in their daily operations.

These include expanding flexible work arrangements, maintaining social distancing and other policies that allow employees to work remotely and safely.

“At the same time, FMM hopes that the cost of the Covid-19 screening for workers, including foreign workers, will be covered by the government through the Socso Prihatin Screening Programme to prevent new Covid-19 clusters, ” he said yesterday.

Mah Sing Group Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Ho Hon Sang said the company would continue to work with the government to support its initiatives in revitalising the economy while addressing the pandemic.

“With the approval to resume operations, we intend to continue to initiate the ‘new norm’ by exercising best hygiene practices and adhering to the health control guidelines in all our sales galleries and offices for the safety of visitors and employees, ” he said.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said it was imperative that SMEs follow the SOP set by the government so as to avoid another lockdown in future.

“Otherwise, this will really affect the economy. We thank the government for listening to the industries and for allowing businesses to open. This will help a lot of SMEs and allow them to find a way to solve their financial problems. Letting them do business is the best solution, ” he said.

Sunzen Biotech Bhd group managing director and group chief executive officer Datuk Jim Hong (pic, above) noted that while the movement control order (MCO) was necessary to address Covid-19, it dealt a significant blow to the economy and most businesses.

“The important thing for us now is to strategise how to invest and conduct business post-MCO. While all efforts need to be taken to solve the Covid-19 crisis, we need to weigh the expense of damaging the economy carefully.

“Health and economy are symbiotic, and one cannot survive without the other, ” he said.

Business management consultant Patricia Magdelen Nelson John said businesses could no longer operate in the same manner as they did before the MCO, at least not with the pandemic still around.

“Perhaps full recovery can be contemplated after the virus has been completely eradicated. But before contemplating full recovery, businesses need to find ways to survive this pandemic, ” she said.

To tackle Covid-19, Malaysia implemented the MCO on March 18 with subsequent plans to end it on May 12.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced yesterday that almost all economic sectors and business activities would be allowed to resume on Monday, subject to conditions.

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