Expedite vaccination for SME employees, govt urged

PETALING JAYA, Sept 7 (Sin Chew Daily) — SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang Hua Keong slammed the slow progress of vaccination programme for SME employees, causing many of them to be unable to go back to work.

He urged the government to expedite the vaccination and allow employees receiving at least one dose of the vaccine to go back to work.

SME Association president Michael Kang.

During a telephone interview with Sin Chew Daily, Kang said the government had earlier demanded that SME employees would only be allowed to go back to work 14 days after they are fully vaccinated, but given the slow vaccination rate at this moment, many SMEs in the country have been unable to resume their operations.

Now the government has ruled that businesses can only resume if 80% of their employees have been fully vaccinated.

Kang said fewer than 50% of SMEs in Klang Valley had resumed their operations at this moment.

“Under such circumstances, we hope that the government will allow employees who have received at least one dose of the vaccine to go back to work in strict compliance with the SOPs.

“If the current situation goes on, 49% of micro and SME businesses will likely close down by October, as the entrepreneurship development and cooperative ministry has earlier projected.”

Meanwhile, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Datuk Soh Thian Lai said the federation had always supported the government’s Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) to inoculate Malaysian and foreign workers in the manufacturing industry.

Some 914,508 manufacturing sector employees had received their first doses as of August 31, while 691,392 were fully vaccinated.

As reported, PIKAS aims to complete the vaccination programme for manufacturing sector employees by the end of September.

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