Monday, August 2

Most businesses cannot withstand another MCO scenario — Federation

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Jonathan Chai

KUCHING (April 21): The decision by the Sarawak government of imposing Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) instead of a full lockdown on areas recording high number of positive Covid-19 cases, is ‘a pragmatic one’, says Sarawak Business Federation secretary-general Jonathan Chai.

According to him, the state cannot afford to have another full MCO as most businesses have only begun to ‘crawl back to normalcy’ after going through various stages of movement restrictions.

He felt that should another round of MCO be implemented, many businesses would close down and this would result in massive unemployment which, in turn, would cause hardship to families and trigger social problems in the community.

“Most businesses certainly cannot withstand such a scenario.

“It’s not an easy decision (by Sarawak government) to keep the economy open by not imposing another round of MCO, but there’s a need to strike a balance between the livelihood of the people and public health.

“Personally, I think Sarawak government has made the right decision of enforcing the localised version, the Targeted EMCO, in outbreak-identified areas, instead of imposing a wider and stricter version of MCO.

“At least it would give some breathing space for businesses.”

Nonetheless, Chai stressed that business operators must not take the government’s good intention for granted.

He called upon the business community to continue play their part in containing the Covid-19 spread by observing strictly the standard operating procedures (SOP) sets by the relevant authorities.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to the general public to register for vaccination so that the herd immunity could be achieved as soon as possible.”

Chai also hoped that the government would support the private sector by introducing more stimulus measures such as carrying out more projects that would bring about good spin-off effects to the economy, and also providing subsidies for utilities and assessments payments.