Tuesday, April 13

30% of SME Sabah members closed down business


Seated from third left: Chin, Chong, Liew, Foo, Hing and the office bearers of SME Sabah.

KOTA KINABALU: Around 30 percent of the Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Sabah (SME Sabah) members have shut down their businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of whom are in the tourism industry.

SME Sabah president Foo Ngee Kee said around 20 to 30 percent of his members, mainly those in tourism, have closed their businesses.

There are about 140 SME Sabah members statewide.

He said some businesses were forced to close down to stop their cash flow drain so that they could reopen when the situation has recovered.

Foo said even his hotel, Courtyard Hotel at 1Borneo Hypermall, was struggling to stay open amid the pandemic.

He said coffee shops were the first to recover from the slump as their businesses have recovered up to 80 percent.

He said coffee shops had experienced hard times back in October last year as people were too scared to venture out from their homes due to widespread infections.

“Now that everything is under control, consumers are more willing to come out and spend money or sit in kopitiams (coffee shops).

“My hotel’s business has also improved to 20 percent, double of what it was during lockdown,” he said to the media at SME Sabah’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) cum election of its council for the term 2021 to 2024 here on Wednesday.

Callee Tan Kai Lee, Samantha Oh, Mak Koon Ngam, Kelly Tan Swee Eng, Leo Liew Yih Xin, Mark Mak Khoo Hooi, Eric Ooi Xin Hau, Lau Jiin Woei, Goh Choon Keat and Chia Khuin Fung were elected as committee members of SME Sabah.

Foo, deputy president Tan Kai Teck, vice president Wilfred Lim, co-founder and vice president Ngan Yoke Loo, secretary general, Lie Chun Vui, deputy secretary Ivy Ting Soo Vi, assistant secretary Jonathan Kwan Lai Kok, treasurer Willie Lo and assistant treasurer Philip K. Y. Yong were elected unopposed for the second term after nominations closed on March 31.

Two vice presidents were appointed, namely Terrance Chong Kett Chiew and Daniel Shim.

The council also appointed resident councilors for Tawau, Lee Kok Kiang and John Phung, Chang Yeh Chun (Lahad Datu), Ronny Hiew Ah Choy (Keningau), and Sandakan, represented by vice president, Daniel Shim and deputy secretary Ivy Ting.

There are five newly appointed council members for the second term, Sky Sak (Ranau), Leong Chan Fatt (Kudat), Poh Jet Hwa (Labuan), Deledda Tan (Kota Kinabalu) and Oh Vui Teck (Kota Kinabalu).

The council also appointed the co-founder cum former deputy president, Michael Chin Wee Yee as honorary advisor, Johnny Ng as honorary advisor, and re-appointed Datuk Frankie Liew as honorary life president and Datuk Henry Hing as honorary advisor, whereas Chong Chui Ling was appointed as legal advisor.

The council also appointed Sucy Ng Lee Fong as new legal advisor.