KUALA LUMPUR : The SME Association of Malaysia (SME Malaysia) is pleading with the government not to implement a full lockdown on the economy, but look into ways to expedite the vaccination drive.
Its president Datuk Michael Kang in a statement said the association was not in support of a complete lockdown as it would have a significant impact on the country’s economic recovery process.
He said currently about 40 per cent of the SMEs were already suffering.
“The association conducted a web dialogue with its members on Monday (May 17) and is currently conducting a nationwide survey on the impact of the Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0).”
He said based on the initial report, 91 per cent of SMEs said their business revenues were expected to be affected in MCO 3.0, with 37.5 per cent of these companies expected to see more than a 50 per cent drop in their business performance.
“A total 37.7 per cent of SMEs will close their operations should the lockdown continue,” he said.
Kang said the survey also unveiled that 84.5 per cent of the SMEs will be significantly affected by MCO 3.0.
“Should a full lockdown be implemented like MCO 1.0, more than 40 per cent of SMEs will face financial difficulties and at least two million people will be losing their jobs.
“As such, we strongly urge the government not to implement a full lockdown as many industries such as tourism, event management, private education, and enrichment centres among others have long been suffering since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year.
“Should a full lockdown be implemented, it will ‘kill’ all immediately.”
He said 95.8 per cent had requested the government to immediately allocate more incentives to assist SMEs.
Kang said other findings include 65 per cent calling for a blanket automatic loan moratorium.
“Another 88.5 per cent also agreed that business performances will be affected significantly should there be any delay in the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP).”
As such, he said 50.4 per cent were willing to have a private immunisation programme, even with the cost borne by them.
By : New Straits Times