KUALA LUMPUR – Majority of the retail business owners in the country, especially the Malay businesses are ‘almost dying’ after the government implemented the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0.
The situation gets crucial and tough when the government did not implement the automatic moratorium for loans to all businesses.
The President of Bumiputera Retailers Organisation, Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin expressed his disappointment with the current situation and alleged that the government does not know the actual situation of the business owners who are at wits end to save their own businesses.
According to him, the Ministry of Finance said that the financial institutions cannot offer automatic moratorium but borrowers need to make an application for that and it is not an easy process.
“It is not easy to apply for a bank moratorium. There are just too much of bureaucracy that the business owners need to go through.
“At our wits end, banks want us to provide account statements, request business owners to make business projections and submit various documentations. The business owners are also being pressured with additional interest rate.
“It is even more tragic when our calls are unanswered as the bank staff are not working from their offices,” he told MalaysiaGazette.
Ameer, who is also the Advisor of Business Survival Group questioned the financial institutions for forcing the business owners to go through such bureaucracy when the micro and medium scaled business owners are in a ditch.
He also questioned the government for not ordering the banks to grant automatic moratorium to businesses. Logically, all businesses are affected when they are forced to close at the order of the government to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) of Covid-19.
He, who is also the Managing Director of Mydin Holdings Berhad (Mydin) said that his hypermarket has recorded 25 percent less sales since the Full MCO came into effect on 1 June.
15 percent reduction was caused by Mydin cannot sell non-essential items, while the remaining was caused by the 10kilometre travel limit. Besides that, domestic expenditure also decreases as the spendable income of the people has also reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“That is only Mydin. I was told that the businesses at other shopping centres had also dipped 95 percent.
“Meanwhile, the food and beverages sector suffered a drop of 15 until 29 percent due to the no dine-in policy. They are lucky as they can still do pick-up and online purchases.
“What I can say is that many has fallen,” he said.
Ameer is disappointed that with the exception of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, the Ministry of Finance has never had a meeting with the business association to understand the problems faced by business owners.
“Businesses have fallen and we are near our deaths. Where is the action plan to save us? What is the government’s plan to help us stand up again? How much are we getting and to who should we get it from? What are the processes that we need to go through,” he further questioned.
He said, the fall of the business sector is not something that can be taken lightly with. Since the Full MCO, 20 percent of employees have been laid off. The number could increase to 30 in July and 50 percent in August.
Furthermore, many micro, small and medium enterprises may fall and the country will fail in implementing the agenda to strengthen bumiputera economy developed for over 60 years.
Besides that, killing businesses would affect the government in the future as it cannot get taxation income from the business sector,” said Ameer. –MalaysiaGazette