KUALA LUMPUR (May 28): A further tightening of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0) will have negative impacts, according to manufacturing industry associations.

During a virtual press conference by the Penang Manufacturing Advisory Council, Dr David Lacey, who is president of the Free Industrial Zone, Penang, Companies' Association (Frepenca), said if there is a further tightening of MCO rules, it will further impact output, revenue and exports.

“So we are really at the limit (threshold) in the current MCO 3.0,” Lacey said.

InvestPenang Special Investment Advisor to the Chief Minister of Penang Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon pointed out some private companies find that it is not “productive” under the current regulations that only allow 60% of their total workforce to operate on-site.

Small and Medium Association Malaysia (Samenta) national secretary Yeoh Seng Hooi cited an example of a small and medium enterprise (SME) with a staff force of 20 people, only 12 employees are allowed to work on the company's premises.

He said the SMEs are those that bear the brunt most given their small scale of operations. 

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang chairman Datuk Jimmy Ong opined that the SOPs put in place under MCO 3.0 can be adhered to by most companies, while echoing Yeoh’s view that it might be more difficult for smaller firms.

This is as larger companies are already well versed in remote working arrangements, he explained.

Ong noted that given the pressure placed on the government to institute a complete lockdown, the industry has to make some sacrifices inevitably.

Meanwhile, Association of Malaysian Medical Industries (AMMI) secretariat executive director Ching Choon Siong said its members are in a sector that is critically important for healthcare facilities worldwide.

“Our members definitely hope that the medical device sector can be a special consideration so that we can operate fully and ensure there is no disruption of medical device supply, especially to our public healthcare and global healthcare,” said Ching.

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