Covid-19: Create emergency fund to assist victims of economic fallout, urge real estate professional bodies

PETALING JAYA (June 30): Real estate professional bodies have urged the government to create an emergency fund from the contribution of large corporations which are not affected by the lockdowns to help those experiencing financial woes

This is one of the suggestions from six professional bodies, namely the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM), the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS), the Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM), the Malaysian Institute of Professional Estate Agents & Consultants (MIPEAC), the Business Valuers Association of Malaysia (BVAM) and the Persatuan Perunding Hartanah Muslim Malaysia (PEHAM).

In a joint media statement today, the associations, which have a collective membership of 15,000, said the emergency fund should be used as a safety net for families who have fallen victim to the economic fallout owing to the lockdowns.

The statement said many firms, with the majority being SMEs, have been struggling to cope and to keep afloat for more than a year now and whatever reserves that may have had to tide over difficult periods have by now been depleted.

“The stand taken by most of the SMEs over the past year generally is that they don’t mind not making any profit, so long as they can cover overheads,” it added.

If the FMCO is to be further extended and the distinction is continued not to be drawn between such SMEs and factories with large workforces (including foreign workers) then at least, the associations suggested that the said firms can be put under stricter SOPs and allowed to operate. 

For most of these firms, employers can largely work-from-home with only a skeletal staff in the office to access files and records, to receive calls and copy documents and generally keep the administration going, it added.

The real estate professional bodies also suggested allowing contributions to the Employees Provident Fund and SOCSO to be put on hold for the duration of the lockdown to ease the financial burdens of the businesses or employers.

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