EUMCCI proposes steps to ensure businesses survive during and after MCO

People wearing face masks during the movement control order (MCO) in Shah Alam April 5, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
People wearing face masks during the movement control order (MCO) in Shah Alam April 5, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — The EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EUMCCI) has proposed several measures to the government that can help businesses continue to survive during the ongoing movement control order (MCO) and after it expires.

Its chief executive officer Sven Schneider said the suggested measures were compiled from more than 20 participating chambers and associations.

“We are confident that mitigating measures discussed and formulated today will assist the government and business in managing this crisis during and beyond the MCO,” he said in a statement.

These include payroll assistance, where the already-introduced RM600 wage subsidy measure should be doubled to RM 1,200 and specifically made available to companies considering or being forced to retrench manpower.

“We humbly request that this assistance shall be paid unconditionally to assist in particular small enterprises, who suffer under demanding documentation requirements.

“An emergency support grant of up to RM 10,000 per company to assist in particular micro-small and medium enterprises (SME) with urgent cash flow problems should also be considered,” Schneider said.

For non-essential businesses operating under the MCO who have experienced catastrophic supply chain disruptions, EUMCCI suggested they be allowed to operate at a minimum capacity by establishing Health Ministry-sanctioned standard operating procedure and stringent adherence to its requirements.

“In order to relieve government budgets, we propose to consider a private funding mechanism, which may be guaranteed by the government, via the Malaysian banking system.

“This may involve the acquisition of non-voting right shares in SMEs, which shall be redeemable after a certain period of time,” he said.

Another proposal raised by the chief executive officer is the formation of a joint working group between the government and industry to develop a National Supply Chain Strategy during and after the MCO, to mitigate and manage this crisis.

“The government should also please advise if a single representative of each key business organization can communicate directly with the newly formed Special Cabinet Committee.

“Lastly, the EUMCCI also kindly ask for any initiatives to also apply to Foreign-Owned Businesses in Malaysia,” Schneider said.

EUMCCI chairman Oliver Roche also said the business impact of MCO and the Covid-19 pandemic is faced both by local and international entities.

“With that in mind, it is imperative for us to realise this and do the best we can to tackle it at its core, before it jeopardises the socio-economic landscape in Malaysia,” he said.

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