KUALA LUMPUR, 3 April 2020 – The government has announced that it will has set up a Special Cabinet Committee to develop strategic measures to safeguard Malaysia’s economy and labour market impacted by the MCO and COVID-19 crisis.
The committee’s aim is to strike a balance between the nation’s economic priorities and the effective enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said.
The move comes amid calls by business groups for the government to provide incentives to companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to counter the losses they’ve faced during the MCO.
Some of these companies, the business groups claim, have no money to pay wages as their cashflows are badly affected during this period.
This is despite the government announcing the RM250 billion Economic Stimulus Package in which RM100 billion goes towards supporting SMEs and other businesses hit by COVID-19.
The committee will be co-chaired by Senior Minister and MITI Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali as well as Senior Minister and Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Members of the committee will also comprise those involved in the nation’s economy and security, MITI said.
The special committee’s other key focus areas include measures to sustain Malaysia’s economic engines particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) during the MCO and ensure effective mitigation efforts in addressing displacement of labour force among Malaysians.
The committee will present its recommendations to the prime minister during the Economic Action Council meeting on 6 April 2020.
The inception of the committee also reflects the government’s quick response to address issues highlighted by the rakyat and the Malaysian business community, MITI said.
“In addition, MITI will be engaging with industry players from various sectors to gather insights from people on the ground. This effort is key to ensure the committee will address specific issues facing the business community, particularly SMEs, manufacturers and investors.”
Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)