23/05/2021
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Tightened SOPs instead of total lockdown a right move

PETALING JAYA, May 23 (Sin Chew Daily) — Small and medium enterprises support the government's move to implement stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Movement Control Order 3.0, says SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang.

Kang agrees to stricter SOPs implemented by the government instead of a total lockdown in curbing social activities to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This is in line with our request. The government should not impose total lockdown but allow economic sectors to carry on under stricter SOPs.

"We want to develop the economy but if the people and shops do not comply with SOPs, the infection rate of COVID-19 will remain high.

"By tightening SOPs with strict enforcement, economic activities are still allowed," he said.

Entrepreneurs would be trapped in a difficult situation if the government were to impose a complete lockdown.

Unable to operate and not generating revenue, entrepreneurs and companies would not be able to pay for staff salaries. This would also affect workers' livelihood. If the companies eventually wound up, workers would lose their jobs too.

Kang suggested that the government tighten SOPs on inter-state travels and confine people to traveling within a 10km radius from home only to purchase daily necessities.

Another suggestion was to allow people to apply for inter-state and inter-district travels through MySejahtera app.

"The government can also monitor those who apply to travel inter-state or inter-district through technology for stricter enforcement to curb abuse," he said.

Shops which offer online services would be able to operate as usual.

"We have been urging shops to change their operating mode. The government has provided for subsidies and allowances but if the shops are not willing to apply, that is their problem," he said.

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