MEF says full lockdown is necessary, asks for more stimulus packages

MEF says full lockdown is necessary, asks for more stimulus packages

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s decision to impose full lockdown is a bitter pill for employers to swallow but it is necessary to flatten the rising trend of Covid-19 daily infections that reached a record high of 8,290 yesterday, said Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman.

He said the lockdown would be very difficult for most employers, especially the micro enterprises that were not normally within the essential economic and service sectors category.

“With losses expected at about RM2.4 billion per day similar to that during the Movement Control Order (MCO) 1.0, the government must introduce more stimulus packages including wage subsidies and financial assistance to businesses and individuals to sustain themselves during this challenging period.

“Automatic loan moratorium must also be reintroduced so that such businesses and individuals could survive and be able to continue with their operations,” he said in a statement today.

He noted that the government’s decision of striking a delicate balance between saving lives and livelihoods veered towards a full nationwide lockdown on all economic and social activities – except for the essential economic and service sectors – from June 1-14 following the alarming rise in the daily recorded number of Covid-19 cases.

The list of essential economic and service sectors that will be allowed to operate during the full lockdown will be determined by the National Security Council.

Syed Hussain said based on lessons learnt during the past MCOs, MEF hoped there would be no confusion over which economic sectors would be allowed to continue to operate and the number of employees that could be present at the workplace during full lockdown.

According to him, what is needed is fast execution in the collective role of utilising all resources in government and in the private sector to achieve herd immunity.

“We cannot fight COVID-19 if we are on opposite sides and not working as a team. With mass vaccination and self-regulation, we will overcome this.

“We need to take action now because execution is the name of the game. We have no other choice. ‘Kita jaga kita’,” added Syed Hussain.

For further information, contact the MEF secretariat at 03-79557778 or fax 03-79559008 or email mef-hq@mef.org.my.- Bernama