Malaysian SMEs appeal for more staff to be allowed to return to work

Employers are urging the government to allow people who have received their first vaccine dose to get back to work to prevent their businesses from shuttering.
By: | September 8, 2021

SME Association president Michael Kang said that about 25% of local SMEs have closed for good since the mid-year lockdown, with more likely to follow suit if circumstances do not change. 

“We cannot be waiting for companies to fulfil the requirement to resume operations, which is that 80% of their staff are fully vaccinated. Those who have received their first dose should be allowed to work or open businesses,” he said. 

For staff who have received one dose of the vaccine, he said employers are willing to cooperate and check their workers’ MySejahtera application daily to ensure they are not “loitering everywhere”. 

“Those who defy the movement rules should not be allowed to come in to work,” he said, adding that enforcement officers can conduct spot checks to ensure that SOPs are being followed. 

“We need to look at all angles so that SMEs can restart their businesses. We need to find ways to help them earn their incomes, not close their businesses for such a long time.” 

READ: Malaysia’s SME association against GST implementation in 2022

He added that the government has to understand that businesses are anxious as they are already unable to pay salaries and rents. “Some are struggling with debts to the point of no return.” 

Once SMEs are allowed to open, the government should introduce a standard set of simple SOPs for all states to avoid confusion and summonses, he said, according to Free Malaysia Today.