We must have political stability, say employers’ groups

PETALING JAYA: It is crucial for Malaysia to have political stability in its effort to rebuild the economy battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country’s manufacturing industry and employers said the call by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah cautioning politicians against creating political turmoil was timely.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said that political stability was important for the country to recover economically from the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“FMM believes that political stability and sound economic fundamentals are both important as we continue to fight Covid-19 which has led to a health and economic crisis affecting the global community with long-term adverse repercussions on all,” said Soh when contacted.The present government has responded fast with “mitigation actions” to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country, he added.

“The manufacturing industry believes that it is a collaborative effort at all levels of the society – with the government taking the lead – to ensure that the country is able to withstand these challenging times and kickstart the economy for the sake of the rakyat.

“It is important that the government continues to receive support and commitment from all parties to effectively work towards a healthy nation and to fast track the revitalisation and growth of the economy,” he said.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said political stability was needed to bring back investor and consumer confidence.

“We fully support the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s call, as political stability is crucial to the rebuilding of the economy.

“Businesses need political stability to thrive and grow,” said Shamsuddin.

He added that Sultan Abdullah has given “objective” advice in his address, with the needs of Malaysians taken into account.

Shamsuddin, however, said he hoped that the government would heed the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s call for the government to continue helping companies adversely impacted by the outbreak.

“It’s something that the government needs to continue to look into, as the Employment Retention Programme (ERP) and Wage Subsidy Programme (WRP) were not enough (to save more employees from being retrenched),” he said.

He added that it was important to help employers to avoid retrenching their employees, as mass unemployment will affect the country’s economy and social wellbeing.

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