COVID-19 SPECIAL TASK FORCE SECRETARIAT FOR NGOs & ENTREPRENEURS WAS CALLED UPON BY THE ECONOMIC PLANNING UNIT (EPU) FOR DISCUSSION ON THE 10-POINTERS

Published by Lavinesh @ 20/03/2020

Tan Sri SP Lim, Group Managing Director, Titijaya Land Bhd, Shahul Hameed Dawood, Secretary of Covid-19 Special Taskforce Secretariat [Founder & President of Social Media Chambers, Malaysia (SMC)], Dato’ HJ Moehamad Izat Emir, Chairman of the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs (President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce),Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Datuk Richard Koh, President of the Malaysian Association of Amusement, Themepark and Family Attractions (MAATFA)

Mr. Shahul Dawood, Secretary of the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs has revealed that the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) has requested an appearance of them, to discuss and understand the 10-Point request made by the secretariat with regards to providing financial support to SMEs, SMIs, and, self-employed entrepreneurs. The Government was co-operative towards the Covid-19 Special Task Force and will be working with them gradually to address this pressing issue and improve the economic crisis faced in Malaysia due to the coronavirus. As of yesterday, 19th March 2020, the Government has implemented discounts for electricity bills for six months, starting from April 2020.

A 15% reduction on electricity bill payments will be provided to 6 selected business sectors who are directly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak - hotel operators; travel and tourism agencies; shopping complexes; convention centers; theme parks; and local airline offices. Commercial, industrial and agricultural consumers other than the 6 selected business sectors will enjoy a 2% discount on their electricity consumption.

The Government of Malaysia has announced a movement restricted order to oppose the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Malaysia and commenced a partial lockdown beginning 18th March until 31st March 2020. A sum of RM20B was allocated in the 2020 Economic stimulus package to support Malaysian Citizens during the lockdown, and only RM3.5B of it will be funded to Small-Medium Enterprises (SME).

Tan Sri SP Lim, Group Managing Director, Titijaya Land Bhd, Shahul Hameed Dawood, Secretary of Covid-19 Special Taskforce Secretariat [Founder & President of Social Media Chambers, Malaysia (SMC)], Dato’ HJ Moehamad Izat Emir, Chairman of the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs (President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce)

In regards to this, numerous organizations are left concerned about the welfare of the Malaysian economy and strongly suggests that the government put more emphasis on Small-Medium Enterprises (SME) Small-Medium Industries (SMIs) and self-employed entrepreneurs, as the funds allocated to them was insufficient and is taking a toll on these organizations. Although some industries have been given the green light to operate during this period and may ease the wounds of the financial situation in Malaysia, the coronavirus will have a long-term impact on the country’s economy.

With that in mind, the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs, led by Chairman Dato’ HJ Moehamad Izat Emir (President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce), was formed to represent over 100 organizations from SMEs, SMIs, NGOs, and self-employed entrepreneurs, to be their voice of reasoning and to battle the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. A 10-Point memorandum aimed to ease the burdens of SMEs was proposed by the secretariat for the Government's consideration.

The Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs first and foremost expresses their gratitude to the Honorable Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhiyiddin bin Haji Mohd.  Yassin and the Finance Minister, YB Senator Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz and other ministers for the steps they have taken to reduce the economic consequences of COVID 19 to these severely impacted sectors by providing financial facilities for the next 6 months to all SMEs, SMIs, self-employed entrepreneurs including electricity bill discounts. The Secretariat also urges all Malaysians to obey the Prime Ministers' call to stay at home, to fight this pandemic war together as a nation.

Dato’ HJ Moehamad Izat Emir, Chairman of the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs (President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce)

The organizations and associations under the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs are represented by:

  • Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Datuk Richard Koh, President of the Malaysian Association of Amusement, Themepark and Family Attractions (MAATFA)
  • Datuk Seri Garry Chua, President of Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA)
  • Dato’ Seri Raymond Liew, Honorary Auditor of Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA)
  • Datuk Dr. AT Kumararajah Tambyraja Secretary-General of Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI)
  • Datuk Michael Kang, National President of SME Association of Malaysia
  • Datuk Abdul Malik Abdullah, Senior Vice President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce
  • Dato’ Haji Moehamad Izat Emir, President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce
  • Dato’ Jawahar Ali, President of Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (PRESMA)
  • Dato' Mike Loh, President of ASEAN Retail-Chain & Franchise Federation (ARFF)
  • Dato' Aric Ng, President of Mobile Commerce Association of Malaysia 
  • Datin Winnie Loo, President of Branding Association of Malaysia (BAM)
  • James Loke, President of Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA)
  • Tan Lay Seong, President of Malaysia Entrepreneurs Development Association (PUMM)
  • Rizal Kamal, President of Arts, Live Festivals ad Events Association (ALIFE)
  • Michael Poh, President of Malaysia Hairdressing Association (MHA)
  • Shahul Hameed Dawood, Founder & President of Social Media Chambers, Malaysia (SMC)
  • Raymond Woo, Deputy President of Malaysia Digital Chamber of Commerce (MDCC)

And among others.

 

Front row: Shahul Hameed Dawood, Secretary of Covid-19 Special Taskforce Secretariat [Founder & President of Social Media Chambers, Malaysia (SMC)], Dato’ HJ Moehamad Izat Emir, Chairman of the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs (President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce),Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Datuk Richard Koh, President of the Malaysian Association of Amusement, Themepark and Family Attractions (MAATFA) Second Row : Datin Winnie Loo, President of Branding Association of Malaysia (BAM), Dato' Aric Ng, President of Mobile Commerce Association of Malaysia, Raymond Woo, Deputy President of Malaysia Digital Chamber of Commerce (MDCC), Dato’ Mike Loh, President of ASEAN Retail-Chain & Franchise Federation (ARFF)

The contents of the memorandum are:

1. Blanket non-preferential treatment cutting across all segments and all customers – without preferential treatment to credit scoring/risk

Banks to give their immediate support for the next six months deferment on repayment of all banking loans, housing loans, hire purchase, OD and other business-related loans and facilities.

Immediate deferment of the loan principal payment, so that the company has sufficient cash flow to sail through this Covid-19 outbreak period.

Banks should not discredit companies that applied for the deferment of loan principal payment by lowering their credit rating. This will assist to reduce the possibility of an increase in retrenchment that may eventually lead to the overall increase in the unemployment rate in the country and to help the most vulnerable to survive and provide support to a company that serves those populations.

2. Deferment on statutory obligation payments for a minimum of six months and waiver of utility bills

Minimum six months deferment on all statutory obligation payments like EPF, Socso and other related payments. The current stimulus package proposal of four percent deduction in EPF contribution by employees from April to December 2020, similarly the percentage of contribution from employers should also be reduced.

A waiver on utility bills across the board for all industry and 50 percent waiver for all households

3. Roll out on soft loan

A quick soft loan with no collateral to roll out immediately under the stimulus package introduced by the government. Loan up to 20 percent of the annual turnover with minimal interest (three percent per annum) rate to be given.

4. Exemption of sales and services tax (SST)

Exemption of the sales and services tax (SST) for all sectors until December 2020 and to directly affected sectors for the whole of 2020.

5. Special incentives for businesses using digital technology

Ramp up digital connectivity and encourage new business models based and digital economic landscape – companies operating using shared economy and circular economy business models must be given special incentives or grants to small and medium retail, MICE, Food and Beverage and other businesses who are opting to use digital technology.

6. Waive tourism and entertainment tax

The tourism tax and theme park, family playland entertainment tax should be waived immediately (to encourage local travel and promote cuti-cuti Malaysia. This should be activated once the active containment phase of Covid-19 is over and free movement of people is established).

7. Lower corporate tax rate

Lower the corporate tax rate for the directly affected industry, like Tourism, F&B, MICE, and other related industries ie 24 percent to 16 percent, defer the tax installments.

8. Double tax deduction for companies paid for salary to the B40 group

Double tax deduction to a company for salary paid to the B40 group, an additional tax deduction for salary paid to local workers, to encourage the continued employment of the local workers and reduce the possibility of job retrenchment.

We hope that Human Resources Ministry will provide the necessary funding support to the company and/or the employees, when in the extreme case where the company has no other option but to ask the employees to take unpaid leaves during the critical period.

9. Postponement of Visit Malaysia Year 2020 and other low impact projects

To postpone the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 and other low impact projects with immediate effect and to channel those funds to all those affected entrepreneurs, SMEs and SMIs by giving direct cash handout.

10. Landlords to ease rental rates for a period of six months

Government to encourage mall/commercial landlords to ease rental rates down by a minimum of 50 percent for a period of six months to mitigate the businesses.

In addition to that, the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs suggests that the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign should be postponed to a later date, now that traveling is moderated by many countries. Funds allocated for the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 should be channeled to facilitate and support high impact projects that may be of help to further reduce the impact on the country’s economy.

Associations and NGOs: 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, ALIFE, MIBC, MABC, PPBIBM, MACRA, PUGM, KLCAH, KLICCI, DEN, MRA, FCAM, MDCC, WLCC, MLCC, FMSA, PIKOM, MHA, AHMA, FCAM, are among many others that are represented by the Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs. 

The Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs group photo

The Covid-19 Special Task Force Secretariat for NGOs and Entrepreneurs will continue to work with the Government in securing the financial stability in Malaysia. News and updates regarding this matter will be posted to the public in the weeks to come. This battle is not one that can be won alone, rather with the support of the Malaysian community, together with the Covid-19 Special Task Force, we can restore the economy of Malaysia.