Business players hope new govt will address economic problems

Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai

GEORGE TOWN: The government should find ways to keep factories open based on their vaccination rate, as orders are coming in and the plants cannot continue to remain closed, says Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai.

“It must look into fine-tuning the standard operating procedure and criteria of risk mitigation required in the industrial sector to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

The new Cabinet, he said, would have to go straight to work to tackle the pandemic and economy.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) Malaysia central chairman Datuk William Ng said the association was hopeful that the new Cabinet would take immediate measures to assist SMEs, many of which are in critical condition financially.

“Quick action must be taken to help the industry,” he said in a statement.

The association suggested a few proposals to instil consumer and investor confidence, such as reintroducing GST in 2022 at 4%, re-opening international borders as soon as possible for business travel and exempting business travellers who are fully vaccinated from hotel quarantine.

It also proposed a corporate tax rate for SMEs for the first RM500,000 taxable income for assessment years 2021 and 2022 to be reduced to 15%, and to waive the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) levy until the end of 2021.

It also called for a reduction of levy to 0.5% for next year to help SMEs with their cash flow.

Malaysian Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk N. Gobalakrishnan said the new administration should take on a holistic approach to solve the problems.

“I hope that they will do better; it is not wrong to take good examples from other countries and to be very sure about their approach to tackle the pandemic and the economy,” he said.

Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia president Abdul Halim Husin urged the new line-up to act as a strong team to free the country from the pandemic and solve the economic problems.

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s call to his new Cabinet line-up to produce results and be sensitive to the needs of the people as well as to be responsible, trustworthy and to be able to restore confidence among the people.

Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall president Datuk Cheng Lai Hock hoped the people would give sufficient time for the Prime Minister to prove himself.

“Hopefully, they can do even better than the previous administration and do something beneficial for the country,” he said.

Langkawi Chinese Chamber of Commerce chairman Lee Han Eng said the government could “rescue” the declining economy in Langkawi, which has been badly impacted by the pandemic.

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