THE Small & Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) is greatly concerned by the recent maximum penalty imposed on traders for operating beyond permitted hours under the movement control order.
We urge all SMEs to practise greater care to ensure they comply fully with all standard operating procedures, and to include a buffer time to allow their customers to also adhere to the SOP. This would avoid unnecessary confrontations with the authorities and help the country in keeping Covid-19 case numbers under control.
Nevertheless, we urge government agencies, including enforcement authorities, to adopt a consultative approach when it comes to penalising those who don’t comply with the SOP. While SMEs should comply with the SOP, sometimes there are issues beyond their control. As such, we suggest a stern warning be given if an SME is caught infringing the SOP the first time, or a smaller fine perhaps instead of the maximum RM50,000 fine currently issued.
We are certainly not against the enforcement of the SOP, and in fact welcome it. However, we urge that a consultative approach be used as we balance the need to keep Covid-19 in check while ensuring the economic survival of ordinary Malaysians.
DATUK WILLIAM NG
Chairman, Small & Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) Central & Chairman, Policy and Government Relations, Samenta