PETALING JAYA: Observing the standard operating procedure and speeding up the vaccination rate will enable the transition to Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), say business stakeholders.
SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said since the reduction of infections was crucial to enable businesses to operate again, he urged all small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to strictly follow the SOP to ensure the safety of their employees.
“They must send their staff for vaccination. Only then will they be allowed to operate. The staff too must follow the SOP.
“SMEs should also conduct Covid-19 tests on all employees if they are able to,” he added.
Kang said the October timeline was achievable if the government could vaccinate 80% of the population by then.
He added that it was currently taking some time to open more vaccination centres.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the October plan by the government was timely because the association had planned to hold a MATTA fair in November.
“MATTA looks forward to kick-starting the tourism industry back up again,” he said when contacted yesterday.
He believed that meeting the October target would depend entirely on the country’s vaccination rate.To help transition the country to Phase Four of the NRP, Tan said they had previously asked the government to fast-track vaccinations for tourism industry workers.
“I heard that around 30% of those in the tourism industry have been vaccinated.
“We hope to see more among us getting vaccinated. We are also looking forward to vaccinating our tourism workers in tandem with the reopening of economic sectors,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kang urged SMEs to embrace technology because the old ways of doing business were no longer relevant in today’s digital- savvy climate.
“SMEs should not wait for the government to open up but must get themselves ready at all times,” Kang added.
Malaysian Retailers Association vice-president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin was of the view that retailers could not wait longer.
“I think three months is too long a wait. It is fair if certain sectors can wait till Phase Four to reopen, but I think we should move to Phase Three already.
“If the government wants to have more control, it can provide vaccination incentives or privileges for those who have been fully vaccinated,” he said.