American-Malaysian business group says ‘gravely concerned’ about Selangor, KL EMCO; calls for balanced approach

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View From Ampang: Jalan Ampang lies between the borders of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur July 2, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
View From Ampang: Jalan Ampang lies between the borders of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur July 2, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — The American-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) today urged the government to adopt a more balanced approach in relation to reducing Covid-19 infections on the eve of tighter curbs in the national capital and neighbouring Selangor.

The government has placed 15 localities in Kuala Lumpur and most of Selangor, the country’s manufacturing hub, under a two-week enhanced movement control order (EMCO) from July 3 to 16.

“Amcham recognises the need for Covid-19 cases to be reduced and that drastic actions are required.

“However, we are gravely concerned that the implementation of EMCO in several sub-districts in Selangor and localities in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur ignores the successes of companies that have consistently maintained the highest standards of safety at their facilities, many of which have been lauded by local and federal authorities as exemplary.

“It is time the authorities start to differentiate between good and bad actors, and allow companies that are known to have a good track record of the ability to operate,” Amcham’s chief executive officer Siobhan Das said in a statement.

She noted that with Covid-19 vaccination underway for Malaysia’s workforce, there is a greater need to restructure the rules, regulations and policies to further boost economic recovery.

She said that in the past few months, multinational companies have been doing their part by conducting regular tests to trace how the virus is being transmitted in the community for their staff protection.

She pointed out that many high-end facilities are unable to “turn-off and turn- on” at will.

“Locking down safe working environments that are closely monitored potentially exacerbates the transmission in the communities where the population is not being tested or checked on a regular basis,” she added.

Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob justified the EMCO on Selangor and Kuala Lumpur due to the consistently high rate of Covid-19 cases for the past several weeks.

He said that the districts in Selangor and several areas in Kuala Lumpur have reported cases of infections exceeding 12.1 per cent or 100,000 population.

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