By Oliver Roche and Sven Schneider
WE write to you referencing a communique that has been circulating pertaining to our recent informal discussion with the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) on Jan 22 (Friday).
Please be informed that the communique was a confidential internal circular that was sent out to all our members to relay the essence of the informal discussion – and the commendable efforts of the Malaysian government – in tackling the spread of COVID-19.
EUROCHAM Malaysia has been tasked as the main contact point for the EU-Malaysia business community, and has been working very closely with the government especially MITI, from the early stages of the pandemic (in 2020) to date.
The essence of the informal discussion with MITI was aimed to raise awareness about how the business community can play a role in flattening the COVID-19 curve – and the economic repercussions that could follow if we do not play a very active role, while expecting the government to exhaust its efforts independently.
In this context, the demanding situation of worker accommodation has been raised many times and was mentioned in our internal circular as crucial contribution in the effort of breaking the chain.
Furthermore, EUROCHAM Malaysia wishes to clarify that while MITI underscored the heightened sense of urgency that currently prevails – given the rising number of cases – there was no mention of an immediate lockdown after February 2021, and therefore, we seek for people to remain focused on the bigger picture – in doing their part to ensure that another lockdown is avoided instead.
In this trying time, we appreciate the strong working relationship with the Malaysian government, in particular MITI, and in our earnest opinion – they have been doing a commendable job in managing the pandemic since 2020.
There have been many reports in the media of clusters on infections associated with various factories, construction sites and other places of work.
It is imperative that we urge the business community to take this matter seriously and more importantly do their part, by investing in resources assist in implementing strict SOPs – to avoid another full MCO.
While we are focused on the pandemic and its negative impacts to the economy, it is also vital to take a step back and look at how much the Malaysian Government has done for its rakyat, and note that everyone – from mass public to the business community – has a responsibility to do what we can to flatten the curve.
Globally, this pandemic has caused panic and disruption to every aspect of life since 2020 and therefore we should focus on our capacity to contribute to ending the pandemic.
EUROCHAM Malaysia will continue to be a significant pillar of support between the Malaysian government and the EU-Malaysia business community.
Oliver Roche is chairman of EUROCHAM Malaysia while Sven Schneider is the CEO of EUROCHAM Malaysia.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.