Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s industry captains have expressed anguish over the conditional movement control order (CMCO) to be imposed on the larger Bayan Baru area, including the Free Industrial Zone (FIZ), from tomorrow.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang branch chairman Ooi Eng Hock said the CMCO was inevitable, but sad, as some 700 companies operating at the FIZ were just picking up the pieces from the first lockdown in March.
He said there were more than 200,000 workers at the FIZ.
The FIZ is important to the state’s and country’s economy, as it houses more than 500 factories, including major international electronic firms. The state garnered RM7.1 billion in approved investments in the manufacturing sector in the first quarter of the year, the second-highest in Malaysia.
Speaking to FMT, Ooi said the CMCO was sure to reverse the FIZ companies’ recovery process, impacting productivity and causing further losses in the long run.
“The impact would be serious. A lot of manufacturing work would likely be stopped as a result of this CMCO. It is sad but we have no choice but to weather the storm.
“We urge all companies in the FIZ to abide by the SOPs to bring the Covid-19 numbers back down so that the CMCO would not be extended beyond two weeks,” he said.
In the meantime, he said, police and those enforcing the CMCO must be clear in giving permission for those working in the FIZ, especially in the issuance of cross-district letters as most workers lived far away.
He said priority lanes for workers and freight from the industrial zone should be considered, especially during peak hours.
“We also hope the Penang International Airport, which is covered by the CMCO, would be allowed to operate as usual to allow unfettered passage of freight,” he said.
Free Industrial Zone Penang Companies’ Association president Ruben Nyul said it was in full support of the CMCO but hoped the authorities would allow people to head to work as usual.
He said the association’s 47 member companies were proactive in curbing the spread of Covid-19 by allowing as many workers as possible to work from home and sanitising workspaces regularly.
“Internal contact tracing is also being carried out and we have allowed those who need home quarantine to do so. We are proactive and in fact exceed the mandated government SOPs on Covid-19 prevention,” he told FMT.
Meanwhile, Bayan Baru Residents’ Association chief Dr Manjit Singh said while the CMCO was inevitable, enforcers should monitor eateries and markets to check on physical distancing compliance.
“In the early days of the MCO, the Bayan Baru market had strict crowd control. These days, it has become too relaxed and packed. Something has to be done,” he said.
Yesterday, the government announced that Mukim 12 of the southwest district would be put on CMCO from tomorrow to Nov 19.
The mukim or subdistrict covers Pantai Jerejak in the north, Sungai Nibong, Bayan Baru, Queensbay, Sungai Ara, FIZ Phase III & IV, Penang International Airport, Batu Maung and a portion of Permatang Damar Laut and Bayan Lepas.
According to a state health department circular at 5.50pm yesterday, there were 176 active Covid-19 cases in the whole of Penang, out of a total of 1,096 cases to date.
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