Most of these companies were sole proprietors under engineering consultancy practice, he said.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are more vulnerable, especially in these unprecedented times,” he said.
The end of the loan moratorium on Sept 30 led to more closures of SME, resulting in retrenchment.
“Many, including those from engineering companies, depended on the loan moratorium. The government should have specific projects to help those in the engineering services,” he said.
Among IEM’s proposals for Budget 2021 are for the government to reduce corporate tax rate on the first RM600,000 for SME from 17% to 12% and subsidise half of the employer’s portion of EPF contribution. To raise job opportunities, Ong proposed that the government grant double taxation relief for firms employing graduates or retrenched engineers.