KUALA LUMPUR: The Muslim Business Network Association of Malaysia (Mubin) has urged the government to play a more active role in helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by Covid-19 pandemic.
The association said while the pandemic-induced tough business environment was not unique to Malaysia, government assistance to SMEs until now was far from satisfactory.
“Other countries are also badly affected, some much worse than us. But we can only note with envy how their respective governments have taken special interest in protecting small and medium businesses.
“Australia pledges outright subsidies of A$25,000 for their SMEs and 50 subsidies for hiring apprentices. The French government provides 70 per cent gross wage reimbursement (84 per cent of net).
“One member of Mubin that has an operating branch in South Korea reported a subsidy of 75 per cent of their wages,” it said in a statement today.
Mubin said assistance in terms moratorium of current loans and special loans with low interest rates for qualifying SMEs was welcomed.
However, it said one of its member company whose business was not profitable in the last audited year, after many years of profitability, had applied but was immediately rejected on the basis of that one year of non-profitability.
“We note the help extended specifically to companies, big or small, directly impacted by Covid-19, especially hotels and airlines. For the loan assistance, however, unreasonably restrictive terms are being imposed.
“We urge the government to do what is right and not what is convenient. The unilateral decision of the government forcing SME employers to pay full wages during the MCO is politically expedient.
“If this continues without government intervention, then we have signed a death warrant for tens of thousands of businesses and potentially millions of jobs,” it said.