Dato William Ng, group publisher and editor-in-chief of SME Magazine feels SMEs have been clearly let down by the latest economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin.
Dato Ng said while many are grateful for the RM600 per month wages subsidy, this will not be sufficient for most SMEs to keep their operations running, given that business has plunged by as much as 95 percent. He added that many SMEs were hopeful that more comprehensive measures – including rental subsidy, co-sharing of wages by the government and affected employees and co-contribution of EPF, would be announced. Indeed, the direct subsidy now given to Malaysians could have been funnelled via wages support – which would have delivered the same amount of money to Malaysians while encouraging SMEs to remain solvent.
“SMEs are unlikely to make use of the increased financial facilities – given that they have zero income during this period to warrant repayment of loan. Even whatever loan they currently have are a burden.” “With this absence of real support from the stimulus package, we can expect many SMEs, already treading on very tight margin, to shuttle and more Malaysians to loose job this year.”
The SME Association of Malaysia has also expressed the same sentiment calling the measures disappointing and predicts that at least half of the SMEs will close dwn and four million people will lose their jobs.