Business community not in favour of another MCO in Sarawak

Business owners are hoping that another MCO does not take place.

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, April 17: The business communities are not in favour of having the Movement Control Order (MCO) return in Sarawak.

They believe that another MCO could further affect business sustainability and the livelihood of workers who were paid daily wages, and could even cause more unemployment to the local economy and derail the State’s economic recovery.

An employer of a construction company, Syahrir Iman said another MCO could result in slow progress of construction work and less income for daily paid workers.

“Having MCO would result in slow or no progress at our project site which would be detrimental to the survival of our business.

“On top of that, half of our employees rely on daily wages. Having MCO would mean no income at all for them,” Syahrir, who employs 120 workers, said in a statement.

He supported the State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) decision not to implement MCO adding that the committee’s approach to identify Covid-19 patients through targeted MCO allows businesses to operate and generate income for the people.

At the same time, Melvin Liew, a food and beverage (F&B) owner believed that MCO would impact the sales of small F&B businesses.

He observed that some small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were also downsizing and decentralising, causing a decrease in productivity and efficiency.

Liew noted that there were also a rise in freelance workers due to retrenchment.

Thus, he commended SDMC’s decision to maintain the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Sarawak as it involves an array of considerations from the people’s welfare and their health and safety.

In the meantime, he emphasised that reinforcement of stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) had to be done across the board and effective in order to curb the transmission of Covid-19 in the State.

Apart from that, Charles Liew, a business owner of a pharmaceutical company, said he agreed with SDMC’s decision not to implement MCO in Sarawak.

He believed that the implementation of the MCO will disrupt the local socio-economic ecosystem that in recent months has shown signs of recovery.

Charles believed that the local economy would be adversely impacted if MCO were to be enforced.

He also believed the business of smaller community pharmacies which formed 90 per cent of the local pharmacy market will be affected.

“With rental, staff and other costs to pay, smaller community pharmacies almost all locally-owned will suffer,” he said.

He opined that a MCO would hit the low income earners the most.

Hence, he agreed with SDMC’s decision not to impose another MCO throughout the State. — DayakDaily