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Allow full operations under SOPs, govt told
Published on: Saturday, January 09, 2021
By: Malay Mail
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A general view of the Kuala Lumpur city centre during the movement control order, March 27, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Kuala Lumpur: The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) has urged the government to refrain from knee-jerk reactions and redeploy the May 2020 standard operating procedures (SOPs) which allowed businesses to operate at 100 per cent capacity with self-regulation of their ecosystem to maintain strict compliance to SOPs.

Its Chief Executive Officer Siobhan Das said, with the reinstitution of tighter SOPs and incorporating the elevated automation and experiences in hand from 10 months in 2020, Amcham reasoned that manufacturing and support services should be allowed to operate at their maximum capacity as opposed total lockdown such as in March and April of 2020.

“In keeping with global practices, industries such as the electrical and electronics (E&E) including semiconductor and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors must be gazetted as essential sectors along with the others originally identified,” she said in a statement today.

Das also argued that that multinational companies (MNCs) and local companies in the sectors play a crucial role in the regional and global supply chain and are inextricably linked with other essential sectors such as healthcare, financial services, public services and government administration and they should be able to self-regulate.

She added that related ecosystems including but not limited to packaging, transportation and logistics should also be allowed to operate in support of the critical role played by Malaysia’s SMEs in global value chains, to avoid a repeat of the chaos faced in March and April 2020.

“As such, the mobility of the workforce within the nation needs to be streamlined and allowed to operate under consistent and clear rules, unimpeded by layers of unnecessary bureaucracy.

“This, coupled with allowance for essential business travel with clear entry and exit, testing and quarantine procedures will ensure the local economy and investments can continue to run with as little disruption as possible.

“Compliance is of utmost importance to American companies. We understand that the government will be announcing measures to address the current situation and we strongly urge for all communication by the authorities to be delivered with clarity and consistency, in a fashion that will ensure smooth implementation and enable compliance.”

Das also cautioned that a substantial portion of Malaysia’s overall trade will be threatened by another lockdown.

She said based on the Finance Ministry’s economic outlook 2021, Malaysia’s total exports for 2020 stands at RM808 billion and American companies alone account for about RM100 billion out of this total amount.

“We have worked successfully together throughout the pandemic and supported each other effectively. We look forward to maintaining open lines of communication between businesses and government and continuing this collaborative partnership for the well-being of the nation.”



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