KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) is appealing to the government to allow product manufacturers to operate during the extended Movement Control Order (MCO) period and in the anticipation of a possible further extension of the MCO.
Its president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the association requested for an extension of operation approval to essential product manufacturer to operate at 100 per cent capacity and the non-essential at a 50 per cent capacity.
To recap, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has granted approvals for the production of critical essential goods such as food items, personal protective equipment such as face masks, sanitisers, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment during the MCO.
Soh said the extended MCO and tightened conditions effective April 1, 2020, however, has caused some workers of companies MITI's approval issued prior to the extension announcement were denied permission to travel to workplace, including several cases of workers being arrested.
"This is despite workers showing proof of the media statement released by MITI on March 25 on the extension of all approvals in accordance with the extended MCO period," he said.
The enforcement has also resulted into disallowing movement beyond the tightened MCO hours, thus affecting workers scheduled on shift work for companies with MITI approval, he said
FMM he said, was strongly of the view that factories operate under a very controlled environment, where the movement of the workers are from home to the workplace and back thus limiting the exposure of workers to an environment beyond their workplace and home.
In addition, employers had instituted a very stringent health and safety measures at the workplace since the COVID-19 outbreak and continue to abide by the strict conditions, he said.
According to Soh, some manufacturing entities, that are part of the supply chain of the essential products, were not granted the approval to operate, in view that they do not fall under the category of essential product manufacturers.
This too has hampered the operations of the manufacturers granted approval to operate, he added.
On March 25, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the government has decided to extend the MCO for another two weeks until April 14.