Police yourselves, businesses told


Time sticker: A security guard sticking a colour sticker on a customer as a time indicator of when she entered the premise. Under the new SOP, shoppers are allowed only two hours to finish their shopping. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Businesses and industries are ramping up their internal preventive measures as they adjust operations to adhere to tighter SOP under the current movement control order.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said companies had been told to set up their own internal audit committee to ensure compliance to the tighter SOP.

“Audit patrol units should travel to check on the company’s outlets to see if employees are following the SOP.

“Don’t wait until checks are done by the authorities.

“It will be too late if the company is ordered to close for seven days and slapped with a RM50,000 fine for non-compliance with the SOP, ” he said.

He added that employees should be reminded that their travel work permits were only for work purposes.

“The permit is not to be used for gallivanting and socialising with friends, ” he said.

“The stricter SOP compliance is meant not only to protect employees at the workplace but also their own families at home.”

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said that manufacturers would implement the tighter SOP.

“They have been told to stop work-related travel other than the daily commute to work, including moving all physical meetings to the online platforms.

“Employers are also more aware that workers’ quarters pose a high-risk breeding ground for Covid-19, ” he said.

“We will continue to pay greater attention to the living conditions for all workers and ensuring strict compliance to the SOP and Act 446.”

Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia SMEs committee chairman Koong Lin Loong said companies had adjusted the number of employees at the workplace.

He said there was initially confusion over the allowance of 60% of private sector staff physically at work.

“We have clarified that if, for instance, a company has 1,000 workers, they are not to have 600 people (or 60%) in the day shift and then the remaining 400 work the night shift.

“They are to cap the total number of workers at 600 over those two shifts, ” he said when contacted yesterday.

While a reduction in employees at the workplace may pose a challenge for some businesses, he said it was vital in lowering the current infection rate.

“Definitely our work is affected, especially from the aspects of efficiency and effectiveness.

“However, because of the pandemic, we don’t have a choice. It is still better than having a full-scale MCO, ” he said.

The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) said contractors would adhere to the tighter SOP although it would mean delays in projects.

“Jobs on construction sites are different from jobs in offices where work-from-home can still be implemented.

“Productivity at construction sites is not something that can be carried out remotely, ” it said.

MBAM noted that a 40% reduction in workers at construction sites would see lower productivity resulting in delays of between 60% and 80% in projects.

Contractors, it said, were also carrying out sanitisation on vehicles transporting workers and also doing all they could to provide conducive living spaces for workers.

Under MCO 3.0, till June 7, some 40% of the workforce in the private sector and 80% from the public sector, involving 6.85 million employees, are to work from home.

Among the other SOP are that shops such as restaurants, convenience stores, pet stores, laundromats, as well as shopping malls, will be allowed to operate between 8am and 8pm.

Petrol stations will also open from 8am to 8pm except those on highway rest stops.

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