MEF, SAMENTA agree MCO 3.0 extension necessary, hopeful of effective measures

KUALA LUMPUR (June 12): The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) concurred with the government’s decision in extending the movement control order (MCO) 3.0 as the average daily rate of infection had not been reduced to below 5,000 but is hopeful of effective measures to shore up businesses.

“While it is necessary to extend the MCO 3.0 lockdown for another two weeks, the government must also ensure effective measures are in place to support affected employers, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro enterprises,” MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said.

The government has extended the MCO 3.0 until June 28.

Yesterday, Malaysia recorded 6,849 new cases, bringing the number of active cases to 78,864.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA) policy and government relations chairman Datuk William Ng said while the association agreed that the number of daily Covid-19 cases remained alarming, it nevertheless urged the government to reconsider a full MCO.

“SAMENTA has always maintained that we should allow the MCO 3.0 to run its course, with economic activities allowed at reduced capacity with stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place.”

“When the full MCO was announced, we also pleaded for assistance, including an automatic moratorium with no additional penalty or interest and wage subsidies until the end of the year,” he said.

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said there was still a Budget 2021 allocation of more than RM200 billion to be spent this year in addition to the economic stimulus packages, including PEMERKASA+, to help Malaysians deal with Covid-19.

Parliament approved an allocation of RM322.5 billion under Budget 2021.

As at end-April 2021, a total of RM117 billion had been spent, thus the remainder of RM215 billion yet to be spent until December 2021.

Among Budget 2021 measures that are still being implemented for the benefit of the people is welfare assistance where the allocation was increased to RM2.2 billion in 2021 from RM1.5 billion in 2020.

The RM40 billion PEMERKASA+ stimulus package, comprising 12 initiatives, was unveiled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on May 31.

Tengku Zafrul said from March 2020 until March 2021, the government announced six economic stimulus packages worth RM340 billion, with a fiscal injection of RM65 billion or almost 4.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), to address current health and economic challenges.

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