8 Jul - 2 min read
The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) has warned that 49% of the micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sector could collapse by October 2021 should the current lockdown be prolonged until then. This is equivalent to around 580,000 businesses in total.
Drawing the figures from a survey that was recently carried out, MEDAC further said that if the collapse were to occur, more than 7 million Malaysians will be out of work. It also assumed each worker to have an average of two dependents.
The survey – which polled 6,664 respondents – also discovered that one third of the participants did not receive the various aid measures that were announced by the government. Additionally, 60% of entrepreneurs said that they suffer from at least one form of mental health condition during the lockdown, caused by reasons such as a decline or loss of income, debt and financing issues, and the possibility of closure.
Meanwhile, more than 90% of entrepreneurs said that they have no insurance, whereas 70% of them do not have a backup plan to rely on in the event of loss of income.
In revealing the survey results, the Minister for Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar commented that the people are caught in dire straits now, and that the right remedial actions to be taken quickly. “If we don’t do something to help them now, I am worried that many of these MSMEs will fail and will not be around to help rebuild the economy one businesses are allowed to open,” he said.
Datuk Seri Junaidi also expressed concern that the failure of these MSMEs will create a domino effect, hitting the societies hard at the core – which may then lead to a more serious social and economic impact. Aside from that, Malaysians are also growing increasingly upset because of the financial issues that they face, as well as the extensive curb on social activities.
“The impact of the lockdown is not only affecting the economic aspect, but the social aspect as well. I am concerned the longer businesses are not allowed to operate, the longer it will take to recover,” said Datuk Seri Junaidi, adding that it is time for the government to look at other holistic measures on how to deal with the pandemic other than lockdowns.
(Source: Free Malaysia Today)
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