Factories being unfairly blamed for rise in cases, says FMM

PETALING JAYA : The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers has denied that the manufacturing industry has been responsible for the bulk of Covid-19 cases despite constantly being blamed.

In a statement, FMM president Soh Thian Lai said only 147,040 of the total 662,457 cumulative cases as of June 14 were from workplace clusters. Of this, only 95,156 were from the manufacturing sector.

“The low figure of 14.36% (95,156 out of 662,457) cases shows that factory clusters are not the major source of infections,” he said.

He added that the health ministry’s own data showed that sporadic asymptomatic cases made up a bigger volume of cases, up to 69% of cases reported this year as of June 19.

“These sources of infections are often not traced back to the community but to the workplace where more workers are tested as a result of one confirmed infection,” he said

FMM says sporadic cases are not being traced back to the community, resulting in workplaces being blamed as being the source of infections. (Bernama pic)

“This, in turn, is classified as a workplace cluster by the authorities, giving rise to the misconception that the workplace is the primary source of infection.”

The FMM statement was made following the government’s announcement of an indefinite extension of the national lockdown.

Soh called for a review of which economic sectors will be allowed to remain in operations, with a focus on export-oriented industries. He said the lockdown should be implemented in a targeted manner in order to minimise its impact on the economy and questioned the thresholds set by the government before transitioning into Phase 2.

He said the national recovery plan had no direction on resetting the economy and assisting businesses during the prolonged lockdown, repeating his call for Putrajaya to announce a RM200 billion stimulus package.

“FMM requests for more direct assistance in terms of automatic loan moratorium, enhanced wage subsidy, electricity and energy discounts, reduced or deferred statutory contributions.”

FMT

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