Malaysian business and trade groups warn of looming mass unemployment
An alliance of Malaysian business and trade groups has warned of looming mass unemployment should the country continue with its COVID-19 lockdown, which has now been extended to its third month.
Industries Unite (IU), comprising 115 business and trade groups, a majority of which are micro enterprises, has said that it would be counterproductive to overcome the pandemic if its citizens were to “die of starvation”, reports The Straits Times.
If the situation is prolonged, Malaysians who have the capacity to help others would not be able to continue doing so, said IU co-founder David Gurupatham.
“This is no longer a question of businesses wanting to reopen, but it is a question of the mental health and well-being of the people,” he said.
It urged the government to change its strategy as very little improvement has been made with regards to the COVID-19 case daily tally despite the near total closure of the economy.
Malaysia has recorded over 6,000 daily cases for about a week, which is above its set threshold of 4,000 cases and below needed for the country to transition to the next stage of its recovery plan. It reported 8,868 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.