Balance lives and livelihoods under new SOPs, says bosses’ body

(FMT) – Private sector employers have urged the government to ensure a “delicate balance” between lives and livelihoods as new SOPs are set to be announced.

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) lauded the government’s decision not to shut down the country, like what was done in March last year.

It said this would allow long-suffering businesses to continue on the path to recovery.

MEF said private sector employers were relieved that the government had decided to impose tighter enforcement of SOPs in the economic and social sectors in Covid-19-affected areas, instead of declaring a full nationwide lockdown during the current MCO 3.0.

“We must come to terms that Covid-19 will remain in our community for a while.

“We need to learn how to deal with it effectively, such as encouraging the immunisation programme, enforcing stricter SOPs and restricting movement,” said MEF president Syed Hussain Syed Husman.

“The rising number of Covid-19 infections is cause for serious concern and the government has decided wisely in terms of striking this delicate balance between saving of lives and saving livelihoods.”

In a statement yesterday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government had decided to tighten SOPs to curb the rapidly worsening Covid-19 situation.

Details will be announced by senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob later today.

Syed Hussain added that the onus was on Malaysians to act responsibly and follow the SOPs set by the government as there is only so much Putrajaya can control.

“Malaysians must realise that the burden to control the spread is with us and not just the government. So, we must be disciplined and change our behaviour, attitude and practices to follow the SOPs.

“It is easy to comment and criticise, but controlling the spread of Covid-19 is a behavioural issue.

“If we all do our best, we will succeed in reducing the spread of Covid-19, no matter how difficult it is, and leave the rest to the medical teams.

“MEF advises all employers and employees that this step may not be the best to control the spread of Covid-19 but they have no choice, based on the financial impact of a full shutdown.”