Mr MENG CHIN HIANG, Chairman of IFMCC
The International Furniture Manufacturing Chamber of Commerce (IFMCC) requests support from the Government towards furniture manufactures and SMEs as they are massively affected by the Covid-19 Outbreak, amounting to huge losses and zero income. Co-operation with the Government and integration of resources is required to reduce the impact of this epidemic.
Being ranked No.9 globally, Malaysia is one of the top exporting countries for furniture in the world, amassing USD2.3 Billion in 2019. The International Furniture Manufacturing Chamber of Commerce (IFMCC) consists of top Malaysian furniture manufacturers that collectively average RM432 Million in sales annually. The Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed by the Government as a result of the pandemic has brought many challenges to the public and businesses alike.
IFMCC claims that furniture manufactures are directly affected by the MCO and have already accumulated a loss of RM5 Million during the first two weeks of quarantine on the account of order cancellations. The pandemic has brought consumers much anxiety and panic causing them to cancel furniture orders and stocking up on necessities as they are concerned that there will be a shortage of food and supplies in the coming days; this has resulted in thousands of custom-made furniture projects being half-assembled while completed projects are left to stack up in factories.
Completed projects are left to stack up in factories.
The IFMCC fears the worst as members are facing tremendous losses while having little to no sales. With members having to bear the weight of paying rentals for the factory, employee wages, permits of foreign workers, etc., IFMCC estimates to see an accumulative of RM108 Million in three months and measures three months before most businesses close down. The country would face severe consequences and result in a massive economic downfall, should these issues not be tended to immediately. If furniture manufacturing companies of the 9th top furniture exporting country in the world shuts down, not only will it result in enormous amounts of unemployed individuals, the financial state of Malaysia will be shattered. On those grounds, the IFMCC appeals to the Government of Malaysia to aid SMEs and furniture manufacturers in forms of request partial operation, subsidies, tax reduction, reduce rent, monetary compensation, and a more comprehensive reduction of electricity charges.
"Members of IFMCC having to bear the weight of paying employee wages, permits of foreign workers and etc."
As of right now, the United States of America has set aside USD367 Billion for loans towards SMEs, while in the United Kingdom's stimulus package offers business loans of up to USD402 Billion and 80% monthly wages to be subsidized by the Government, Singapore contributes wage subsidies for all businesses meanwhile Thailand offers soft loans and tax reductions for all businesses. In these curial times, the Government of Malaysia should take other countries as an example and provide all the support they can to SMEs, ensuring they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves and prevent them from shutting down.