As MCO 2.0 gets extended, industries again band together to criticise Putrajaya’s lack of clarity, plan

Soo Wern Jun
·2-min read
A homeless man is seen sleeping on a public bench during the implementation of the movement control order (MCO 2.0) in Kuala Lumpur February 2, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
A homeless man is seen sleeping on a public bench during the implementation of the movement control order (MCO 2.0) in Kuala Lumpur February 2, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — A coalition of 43 trade groups under the Industries Unite banner have once again raised concerns over the lack of a long-term recovery plan for small-medium enterprises (SME).

The associations said up until now there is no clarity on the government’s plan for the economic wellbeing of the business community during this period, even as the new movement contol order dubbed MCO 2.0 gets extended by two weeks starting tomorrow.

“We have yet to see an immediate recovery plan, a short-term stabilisation plan and a long-term recovery plan.

“All we see is a disjointed implementation approach, between the relevant ministries which has not taken into account the need stated in para one above,” the coalition said in a statement

The groups added that there is absolutely no granular data or evidence on why certain sectors remains closed while others are allowed to open and operate.

“We welcome the proactive steps, but let us be data driven and not reactive to the Covid-19 pandemic, which we seem to do by default,” the groups said.

On top of that, the coalition said there has been no action taken to alleviate the issues faced, and requests by its members.

“We do welcome the latest announcement (by the prime minister) of easing of restrictions on some industries today, however, there are many more that require assistance.

“We ask that our members be invited to engage and work with the government to chart a path forward towards a recovery.

“Our members look forward to a meeting with the prime minister soonest to raise these and many other issues and look to have purposeful dialogue with the relevant ministries,” the group said.

On Tuesday, Industries Unite — which then had just been a coalition of 30 groups — voiced their opposition to the MCO 2.0 in a rare show of unity that likely underpins dipping confidence in the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

Some of the most influential economic sectors have rallied behind the drive to condemn the partial lockdown extension, calling the move a death knell for more businesses and warned of soaring unemployment.

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