The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has called on the industry to play its part by taking additional proactive and preventive measures to tighten the existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) at workplaces and living quarters of employees in order to contain the current rapid spread of Covid-19. FMM warned that if the transmission of the coronavirus is not urgently managed now, the business sector may not survive another strict lockdown as it will have a devastating impact on business survival and job security.
“The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) strongly believes that it is important for the current infections and clusters to be managed effectively so that the chain of infections can be broken swiftly as the business sector, cannot withstand another round of total lockdown similar to the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March 2020,” its president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said in a statement.
The federation took concern of the alarming update that there are currently 99 out of 318 active Covid-19 clusters which are traced from the manufacturing sector. As such, FMM has issued another reminder to all of its members on the additional measures that must be taken to protect the workforce and contain the spread of infections. They include providing greater attention to the living conditions for all workers, testing all foreign workers as quickly as possible, ensuring transportation runs at under half capacity, appointing senior management to oversee compliance, establishing dedicated isolation areas for suspected or positive cases and minimising worker movements.
Additionally, FMM has also called on the government to continue supporting the industry by facilitating all employers as they work to comply with the requirements and directives set by the authorities. For instance, FMM appealed to the government to agree to subsidise the cost of RTK-antigen test kits so that employers can complete the mandatory screening quickly, ensure clinics adhere to the gazetted costs of tests for all including foreign workers, and make sure lab capacity is sufficient to deliver timely test results.
FMM also highlighted that a transparent and comprehensive national Covid-19 vaccination programme for the entire population is crucial at not only preserving public health and lives but also for economic recovery. “An early announcement of the national vaccination programme and the prioritised groups are critical towards the industries’ business continuity plans. It must be recognised that as long as the pandemic pervades, the growth and investments by the private sector will remain subdued and the economic recovery will continue to be sluggish.