Second strict lockdown can cause economy to collapse, warns Eurocham Malaysia

Soldiers and police officers conducting checks at a roadblock in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam March 22, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Soldiers and police officers conducting checks at a roadblock in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam March 22, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EuroCham Malaysia) has warned that a second lockdown similar to that imposed in March and April last year may lead to a potential collapse of the Malaysian economy as many businesses would shut down.

Chief executive officer Sven Schneider said the states most affected by Covid-19 were also the commercial and industrial hubs of the nation, which would multiply the impact of any strict lockdown to be implemented.

“We hope that the government will look into the matter with great consideration (amid growing concern of a potential second strict lockdown),” he said in a statement today.

He said while Eurocham Malaysia supported the government’s decision to respond to the Covid-19 threat to public health by utilising proven strategies, it was not in favour of a restrictive full lockdown, which would likely not balance the needs of Malaysia’s recovering economy.

Schneider said at present, businesses were still restructuring and recuperating from the impact of the first lockdown due to the pandemic.

“Among the many challenges most businesses faced during the full lockdown were substantial revenue and financial losses, logistics challenges and supply chain interruptions as well as retrenchments, to name a few,” he said.

He said despite the losses that they had faced, many businesses and especially the European business community had learned to not only abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government but to also adopt even stricter internal measures within the office or manufacturing site to ensure the health and safety of employees.

Schneider said in light of this positive development, EuroCham Malaysia felt that instead of a complete lockdown, a more targeted conditional movement control order (CMCO) with an enhancement of its SOPs focusing on stricter measures on travel and social activities would be ideal, as it would allow businesses to continue rebuilding and stimulating the economy again.

“If a second lockdown is to be implemented similar to March/April 2020, it will cause serious implications to both the nation and the economy,” he added. — Bernama

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