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FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lye said this was a result of cargo and shipment delays from China as well as with export issues. - NSTP/ DANIAL SAAD
FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lye said this was a result of cargo and shipment delays from China as well as with export issues. - NSTP/ DANIAL SAAD

SEBERANG JAYA: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has cautioned that Malaysia may possibly face shortage of some finish goods due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak, which originated from Wuhan, China.

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lye said this was a result of cargo and shipment delays from China as well as with export issues.

On this note, what is important is how the local manufacturing industry will face these issues, he said.

"Sure, the impact from the Covid-19 outbreak is there, but we cannot say for certain the extent of the impact.

"What our local manufacturing industry needs to do is to prepare itself to cushion the impact. Our manufacturers may want to find intermediate goods for their production; they might need to look for alternative sources. They have to plan now.

"Otherwise, there may be some shortage of finish goods in Malaysia. It is possible," he said when commenting on the impact of the virus outbreak on the manufacturing sector.

Soh said Malaysia could look to other Asian countries like Japan, Korea or India, and some European Union countries as alternative sources.

"We need to help each other, especially the Asian countries. We cannot panic to the extent that everything stands still. We need to carry on with whatever that needed to be done. So, my advice is do not panic," he added.

Soh was also optimistic the outbreak would not last long, expressing confidence that China would try to contain the outbreak, possibly by June.

"And, this situation also posed an opportunity for us to export rubber good products and other products to China in this period of time, " he said after the ground-breaking ceremony of FMM Penang branch new building by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow here today.

Chow said the disruption posed challenges and opportunities at the same time.

"As Soh has said, we need to look beyond our horizon for new suppliers and new markets," he said.

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