Group photo at the Covid 19 Special Taskforce Secretariat press conference
With the recent announcement of the partial lockdown in Malaysia from 18th March to 30th March by YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji MuhiyIddin Bin Haji Mohd, several NGOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners of Small to Mid-sized Enterprises (SME) has united to form a Covid 19 Special Taskforce Secretariat to plead and appeal to the Government to roll out a 2nd stimulus package, prioritizing SMEs, self-employed entrepreneurs and the workforce that has been laid off.
Tan Sri SP Lim, Group Managing Director, Titijaya Land Bhd; Shahul Dawood, Founder and President of My Events International; Dato' Haji Moehamad Izat Emir, President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce; and Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Datuk Richard Koh, President of the Malaysian Association of Amusement, Themepark and Family Attractions (MAATFA)
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Datuk Richard Koh, President of the Malaysian Association of Amusement, Themepark and Family Attractions (MAATFA)
Dato' Seri Damien Chua, Founder & CEO of JD Resources and Tan Lay Seong, President of PUMM
The Secretariat claims that the context of the "movement restriction order" was undetailed and has left business owners confused as to how to approach the next 2 weeks of partial lockdown. The spokesman, Shahul Dawood said, "No one saw the lockdown coming; thus, we were unprepared and require time to re-organize.".
Dato' Seri Raymond Liew, Founder & Managing Partner of McMillan Woods
Datuk Abdul Malik Abdullah, Senior Vice President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce; Dato' Mazlan Hashim, Chairman of Ko-Best; and Dato' Seri Damien Chua, Founder & CEO of JD Resources
James Loke, President of Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA)
Compared to stimulus packages from other countries, the Secretariat suggested that the RM20 Billion package funds that were provided to sustain the citizen's day-to-day expenditure were a sizeable amount. However, the 3.5 billion provided for SMEs is insufficient. Shahul Dawood added, "If you ask me, even RM20 billion might not be enough to sustain or get the entrepreneurs back on track. At this moment, I can't tell you how much is needed to sustain the SMEs.".
Dato' Jawahar Ali, President of Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (PRESMA)
Datin Winnie Loo, Deputy President of Branding Association of Malaysia (BAM)
In the mean time, Dato' Moehamad Izat Emir, President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce said, “Covid-19 is a problem of viral infection and not a business problem. So the banks have to operate under a strict law, and if you don’t pay, they'll take action against you and your accounts are frozen. We are here to discuss how to economically survive & sustain our businesses, and for that to happen, the government must hear from the industry affected and work together with us to see how it affects our day-to-day businesses.”
Datuk Seri Garry Chua, President of MRCA and Tan Sri SP Lim, Group Managing Director of Titijaya Land Bhd
Raymond Woo, Deputy President of Malaysia Digital Chamber of Commerce (MDCC)
Dato' Mike Loh, President of ASEAN Retail-Chain & Franchise Federation (ARFF)
In correspondence to that, The Secretariat has come up with a memorandum to appeal to the government for their consideration. Contents of the memorandum include exemptions and reductions of several taxes (SST, Tourism and Entertainment Tax, etc), a readjustment in obligated monthly (EPF/SOSCO) payments for the next 6 months, as well as a 4% deduction in EPF contribution by employees from April to December 2020, a waiver 50% on utility bills for all industries and households, and an instant soft loans with no collateral, including avaiability of loans of up to 20% of the annual turnover with min. interest at 3% per annum.
Michael Poh, President of Malaysia Hairdressing Association (MHA)
Covid 19 Special Taskforce Secretariat for NGO and Entrepreneurs press conference
The Covid-19 Special Taskforce Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs will be approaching the Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Finance Minister YB Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz immediately in the coming days in the hopes to be consultants in this matter of crisis. Associations and NGOs represented in the meeting included: NCCI, ACCI, MRCA, ARFF, BAM, MIMCOIN, PRESMA, PRIMAS, SME, SMI, DPM, PERDASAMA, MAICCI, MOFAZ, MAATFA, MFA, MACHITA, MSBC, PUMM, MIBA, MATTA, MAPCU, NAPEI, PAPUH, JEWELLERY ASSOC, MIBC, ALIFE, MABC, PPBIBM, MACRA, PUGM, KLCAH, KLICCI, DEN, MRA, FCAM, MDCC, WLCC, MLCC, FMSA, PIKOM, MHA, AHMA, FCAM, and among many more.
Mainstream Press & Media who turned up to cover the Covid-19 Special Taskforce Secretariat for NGO and Entrepreneurs press conference