Business and industry players hail decision

PETALING JAYA: The government’s decision to tighten the current movement control order without imposing a full lockdown has been hailed by business and industry players.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said he was relieved to learn of the announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) last night.

“FMM asked for stricter enforcement of the SOP and not a full lockdown, as had been widely speculated. We believe that tightening the MCO will help bring down the number of infections which has spiked of late, ” he said yesterday.

Soh urged the people to do their part to help the government contain the spread of the coronavirus.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said the government had ample experience to deal with the recent surge in cases through stricter enforcement of the SOP.

“We have learned from the experience of the previous full lockdown last year and know better how to manage the pandemic now, ” he said.

He said SMEs must learn to adapt to doing business under a stricter MCO.

This could be done through work from home or digitisation of operations, he added.

“It would have been disastrous if a full lockdown was announced, especially when the nation is in an economic recovery mode. We accept a stricter MCO and welcome the decision by the government, ” he said.

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan also expressed relief that no full lockdown was announced.

“We in the business community are worried about the rising number of Covid-19 cases and expected some form of tightening of the MCO to be made.

“However, the stricter MCO should not be too restrictive to a point where it will stifle businesses which are struggling to get back on their feet, ” he said.

Shamsuddin said bosses would be willing to adopt a stricter MCO as long as they could still operate their businesses.

He reminded the people to shoulder the heavy responsibility of helping to break the chain of infection by “not moving about freely”.

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