MACEOS: Business events barred, industry players burdened by high operating costs

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 25): The pandemic and restrictions on face-to-face events have severely impacted the business events industry with revenue losses reported at 90 per cent compared to 2019.

But it is the operating costs to keep businesses afloat that is now a huge burden to industry players, said Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS).

Its president, Francis Teo said while industry players were told they cannot hold business events during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), exhibition and convention centres still have to pay bills required to keep their venues and businesses open.

“The situation is taking a toll on business events industry players who are struggling to stay afloat,” he said. 

Teo said the three main types of utilities operating costs industry players are burdened with, includes connected load charges imposed by Tenaga Nasional Bhd as a penalty for businesses that do not meet the minimum electricity load usage.

“Although a six-month 15 per cent discount on electricity consumption was granted for the affected hospitality industry, this had expired in September,” he said in a statement today.

The other two utilities, he said, are Indah Water Konsortium sewage bills, which for some businesses, can run up to RM10,000 a month, a fixed rate imposed regardless of whether venues are operating or not; and annual fixed assessment fees by local councils.

MACEOS hopes that the government will help to reduce the burden of industry players during the pandemic by eliminating the connected load charges penalty, reducing tariffs for sewage bills, and lowering the assessment fees.

“It doesn’t have to be a blanket reduction for everyone. The government could implement it on a case-by-case basis, upon application by the affected companies,” Teo said.

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