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MEF again pleads with govt to end full lockdown to avert imminent lasting damage to economy

KUALA LUMPUR (June 25): The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) today again pleaded with the government to end the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) before more employees lose their job, making it even harder for the Malaysian economy to recover.

This came after the federation's initial call on June 23 for the FMCO to end, stating that if the lockdown continued, it would cause "further damage to the national economy and individual livelihoods".

In a statement today, MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said lasting damage to the economy is imminent as companies are failing on a daily basis and many others are on the brink of bankruptcy.

"Our members are suffering and forced to shut down and be declared bankrupt. This is on the table and the stress level has reached the boiling point.

"MEF appeals once again to the National Security Council (NSC) to seriously consider our position. Employers need a breather and require space to keep alive our businesses and livelihoods," he said.

Syed Hussain noted that the lockdown strategy was initially thought to be good, but has now shown to be ineffective and therefore not be continued.

"We acknowledge that the pandemic has created havoc in Malaysia and all over the world. There is no simple solution, but when a strategy does not work, we must quickly switch to another so that we all do not continue to suffer.

"We would rather manage Covid-19 and the vaccination than to be saddled with another major problem which is an irreparable economy that would lead to social implications.

"We can live with the standard operating procedures (SOPs), but survival and livelihoods must be prioritised," he added.

He also urged the NSC to have empathy for employers, employees and the people through the provision of immediate relief and aid.

"Some of the immediate relief could be in terms of enhanced wage subsidy, target credit facility for micro-SMEs, automatic loan moratorium, and the exemption of statutory payments and moratorium on penalties to government agencies, as well as tax exemption.

"MEF is pleading with the government to open up all sectors of business with strict implementation of SOPs and penalties," he said.

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