Rubber glove manufacturers plead to be allowed to operate during EMCO, say protective gear as essential as face masks

·2-min read
A shopper puts on rubber gloves after arriving at one of the shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, May 26, 2020 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A shopper puts on rubber gloves after arriving at one of the shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, May 26, 2020 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — The Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (Margma) has urged the government to allow glove factories in Selangor to operate during the enhanced movement control order (EMCO).

In a statement today, Margma president Supramaniam Shanmugam said the group was seeking an urgent meeting with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) to resolve the issue, as 58 per cent of gloves manufactured in Malaysia come from factories in Selangor.

“Medical examination gloves, like face masks, are essential personal protective equipment (PPE) items that are highly required by countries around the world especially in this pandemic season to fight against the spread of Covid-19 and other diseases.

“Since the government’s announcement on the imposed EMCO on the state of Selangor, global customers of our manufacturers have been calling with great concern on shortage of production and delivery of gloves to them.

“Our members are under tremendous pressure from global hospitals and healthcare workers as the pandemic has now evolved into another variant,” he said.

He added that Margma members collectively produce and export gloves to 195 countries around the world and supplied 67 per cent of global consumption.

“Our members have been supportive of the government’s effort to fight the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and have been coping with the 60 per cent ordinance in MCO 3.0 to ensure no severe shortage of this important PPE supply to the world,” he said, adding that the EMCO would make this significantly more difficult.

He added that all glove makers’ employees have registered for the National Immunisation Programme, the Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Pikas), Selangor Vaccination Programme (Selvax) and the latest Vaccination Programme for the Agri-commodity Sector (Vacoms).

“However, up until today, we are still waiting for the delivery of vaccines,” he said.

He also said that Margma has appealed to the government to make saliva-based Covid-19 test kits available as soon as possible to enhance the frequency of workers’ screening and that Margma members have agreed to bear all costs.

An EMCO was implemented yesterday across a majority of Selangor and parts of KL, entailing stricter rules and enforcement than under an MCO.

On July 1, the federal government announced that only food manufacturing factories and producers of daily essential needs would be allowed to operate under the EMCO — listing rice, white bread, sugar, cooking oil, flour, fresh milk, baby milk formula, drug and face mask producers, as permitted businesses.

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