Mitigate business uncertainty to safeguard jobs, allay investors’ concerns, PN told

THE Pakatan Harapan Economic Committee has urged the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration to reset its COVID-19 pandemic management approach.

The current approach, which relies heavily on disruptive sweeping lockdown measures, should move towards a more targeted one that is centred on systematic identification and containment.

This would inject a degree of certainty and pave the way for gradual reopening of economic activities thus safeguarding jobs as well as allaying concerns by the investor community, it said in a statement today.

Numerous investors groups, including the Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry Malaysia, the Malaysian Dutch Business Council and the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry have recently called upon the Government to reassess standard operating procedures (SOPs) that not only disrupt operations but also failed to contain the pandemic.

“It is pointless for the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali to embark on trade visits overseas if he and the entire PN administration do not immediately address these fundamental issues which could potentially drive away existing investors,” the committee opined.

The committee also believes that it is time to move past the arbitrary distinction between ‘essential’ and ‘nonessential’ sector types as even essential services can be hotbeds of virus infections.

Rather, it is better to adopt a more scientific assessment in accordance with the risk of transmission.

There must also be pre-emptive risk assessment whereby SOPs should on improving air quality and ventilation in indoor spaces as well as treating outdoor spaces as low risk with adequate social distancing and crowd control measures.

“We should gradually reopen sectors with low transmission incidences and channel resources to assist other businesses to mitigate transmission at their premises to ensure they can resume operations in a ‘new normal’,” justified the committee. – July 13, 2021.

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