KUCHING (May 3): The government has been called on to adopt a consultative approach when it comes to penalties imposed on infringements of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) Malaysia chairman Datuk William Ng said the association is concerned about the recent maximum penalty imposed on traders for operating beyond the permitted hours under the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“We urge all SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to practise greater care to ensure they comply fully with all SOPs, and to include a buffer time to allow their customers to also adhere to the SOPs.
“This would avoid unnecessary confrontation with the authorities and help the country in keeping our Covid-19 cases under control,” he said in a statement yesterday (Sunday).
Ng appealed to government agencies, including the enforcement authorities, to adopt a consultative approach when it comes to infringements of SOPs.
While SMEs should comply with the SOPs, he said there were issues beyond their control at times.
He thus suggested a stern warning or a smaller fine be given to SMEs for the first time they are caught flouting the SOPs, instead of the maximum RM50,000 fine currently issued.
“We are not against the enforcement of SOPs, and in fact, we welcome them. However, we urge that a consultative approach be used as we balance the need to keep Covid-19 in check while ensuring the economic survival of ordinary Malaysians,” he added.
Established in 1986, Samenta is the oldest association for SMEs in the country.
It aim to champion the development of SMEs through a four-pronged approach of policy consultation, market access, business amplification, and capacity building.