FMM: Emergency ordinance needs to facilitate business sector, maintain investor confidence

A general view of the Kuala Lumpur city centre during the movement control order, March 27, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has called on the government to use the powers enshrined under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) to support and facilitate the business sector and maintain the confidence level of investors, both foreign and domestic.

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said this is important under the current circumstances in order for businesses to sustain operations, stimulate business recovery, and safeguard the livelihood of the people.

“We are most concerned over the announcement by the Minister of Human Resources on February 18, on the gazetting of laws relating to the housing of foreign workers, which among others, make it mandatory for employers to move their employees to temporary housing and bear all the costs associated with it,” he said in a statement.

Soh said the industry believes that the EO has been inappropriately used to force changes, as well as impose harsh punishment with no consideration to the efforts taken and challenges faced by the industry in implementing the necessary adjustments to comply with the requirement of the Act 446.

Hence, he said the FMM has requested for a 12-month grace period on the enforcement to allow industries and authorities to work together to sort out these matters with a detailed action plan from the industries on their compliance strategies.

“It must be recognised that moving workers to temporary housing is only a stop-gap measure and there are other considerations to be factored in such as the cost and logistics or administrative arrangements which could make it even more challenging for employers to manage,” he said.

He said the FMM also wants the enforcement efforts by the ministries and agencies with delegated powers be streamlined and are conducted according to standard guidelines and in accordance to the general requirements of the law. — Bernama