GEORGE TOWN, May 25 — The Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA) has lauded the government’s decision not to enforce a nationwide lockdown and allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to continue to operate.
SAMENTA immediate past president Koay Chiew Guan told Bernama that a total lockdown could potentially put the economy in deep water.
“If we want to survive through the lockdown, we need our businesses to keep running and I believe that the federal government is making the right move,” he said.
On May 22, 2021, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced tighter standard operating procedures (SOPs), effective today.
The minister outlined that 80 per cent of all workers in the public sector, as well as 40 per cent of workers in the private sector, will be required to work from home.
In addition, businesses in all economic sectors will have to comply with operating hours of between 8am and 8pm.
Most of the feedback received by SAMENTA came from SMEs that mainly depend on manual labour, Koay said, adding that tighter SOPs would affect the productivity of their businesses as the workers could not work from home.
“SMEs in e-commerce, in which the nature of their work are more digitalised, can be more adaptive to work anywhere, including from home,” he added.