Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce calls for greater efforts to assist SMEs
The Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) is urging the government to step up efforts to further help the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to overcome difficulties and avoid the possible tide of unemployment. The chamber suggests the government pay heed to the financial problems facing the SMEs and provide comprehensive support through measures such as tax cuts and loan facilities so as to prevent the collapse of enterprises and protect the employment opportunities of the people.
“MCCC believes that the corresponding allocation has made countermeasures especially in the areas of combating the epidemic and caring for the people,” said MCCC in a statement. It pointed out that the movement control order (MCO), no doubt, would help to prevent the spread of the pandemic, but at the same time, the suspension of business and industrial operations have also placed more pressure on the SMEs.
“MCCC hopes that the government could set up an unemployment fund to assist employees who may have laid off after the MCO , in addition to applying for unemployment benefits from Social Security Organisation (SOCSO),” it said. MCCC also suggests the government give direct assistance to the SMEs during the MCO, helping these SMEs to pay at least 25 per cent of their employees’ salaries.
According to an internal survey conducted by MCCC, half of its members who responded to the questionnaires said that although the PRIHATIN package is helpful, it could not obtain timely tangible results. “SMEs need more government assistance to survive the financial difficulties,” it said. Closing down of companies, laying off workers and losing jobs may probably be happening in May, it said. “The government must prepare to face these potential problems squarely now and put in place effective measures to prevent the collapse of SMEs, which will give rise to a wide range of problems,” added the MCCC.