All parties should act responsibly during MCO

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — All parties must act responsibly, and safety nets must be provided for workers, families and businesses during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, urged chambers of commerce.

In a joint statement today, Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) and Malaysian Islamic Chamber of Commerce (MICC) called upon the federal government, state governments, local authorities, civil society groups and Malaysians at large to cooperate on several proposed measures.

“There must be clear, consistent and compatible guidelines by the authorities on all aspects of the MCO, ensuring no confusion and chaos in implementation, as well as strict enforcement with more road blocks and legal consequences on violators,” it added.

MCCC and MICC said sufficient financial and social assistance for vulnerable groups, including B40 households, single parents, daily-wage earners, homeless persons, persons with mental disorders, foreign workers and refugees are needed during the MCO period.

“Employees Provident Fund members should be given the permission to withdraw their 11 per cent contribution for the past three to six months to ease their hardship, and this is especially vital for those whose main income source is commission.

“Rigorous monitoring of essential goods and services is also important to ensure continuous supply and price stability,” they added.

The chambers also called for grace payment periods, waivers or reduction of taxes, rentals, fees and utility charges by governments and government-linked companies.

“Bonuses should also be given to medical practitioners, police and other law enforcement personnel, and other persons in the frontlines,” they said.

Meanwhile, extension of loan repayment periods, waiver of default penalties and other financial assistance to businesses are also needed to enable businesses to pay their workers in the absence of revenue, prevent bankruptcy and layoffs, and support self-employed persons, commission earners and employees.

“Additionally, the National Security Council should look into the foreign workers’ accommodations, hygiene, living conditions as well as monitor their activities,” added MCCC and MICC.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency