KUCHING, June 28 — Sarawak Business Federation has appealed to the state government to draw on their financial reserve, if necessary, to spend on aid measures for hard-battered businesses.
“A lot of businesses are struggling to make ends meet and on the verge of closing down. The government needs to come up with more aid measures with the extended movement control order (MCO) to keep these businesses afloat and avoid massive unemployment,” said the federation’s secretary-general Jonathan Chai to The Borneo Post.
He said the state government must give serious attention in rolling out more financial aid to support the business community, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as the prolonged MCO is expected to impact massively on businesses.
Chai said the business sector will be impacted horrendously by the further extension of the MCO but he contended the Covid-19 situation on the ground had warranted the MCO to be extended for a longer period of time.
“Personally, I will not call for any relaxation of opening up the economy for the next couple of weeks or so but just to hope that everyone would strictly observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs) so that we could contain the spread of the virus effectively.”
He stressed the SOPs and enforcement from authorities must be unequivocally consistent and pragmatic to avoid unnecessarily exacerbating the hardships already felt by businesses and the public.
“We cannot afford to have endless extension of MCO and to go on without any income or revenue while the overheads and unpaid bills keep piling up.”
At the federal level, Chai hoped the federal government would extend the loan repayment moratorium for a longer period for the affected individuals and businesses, as well as extending the Wage Subsidy Programme.
Besides, Chai remarked the state must intensify its efforts to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 through mass vaccination of its population as soon possible, as the only way to get out of this traumatic crisis. — Borneo Post Online