Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of new businesses registered between March and October this year significantly outweighs the number of business entities that ceased operations during the same period despite the challenges due to Covid-19 and movement control orders, official statistics show.

According to Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) data, 281,781 new businesses were registered while 31,190 business entities filed for cessation during that period, said Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

“SSM has also taken the initiative to revoke dormant companies by sending notices under Section 551 of the Companies Act 2016 to 35,944 companies,” he said in a statement in response to a Nov 11 article by The Sun daily headlined “100,000 SME put out of business”.

The report quoted SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang as saying some 100,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may have closed down since the movement control order was imposed in March, which exceeds the figure shown by official data.

Citing SSM data, Wan Junaidi said the bulk of newly registered business entities in the March-October period consisted of sole proprietors and partnerships (89.3 per cent), followed by companies (9.8 per cent) and limited liability partnerships (0.8 per cent).

The minister also cited surveys on Covid-19 in May and August this year by SME Corporation Malaysia and his ministry, respectively, indicated that the percentage of businesses ceasing operation was slightly lower in August at 1.4 per cent compared with 1.6 per cent in May.

Wan Junaidi said SMEs form 98.5 per cent (907,065) of business establishments in Malaysia and the government has long realised the need for a strong framework for SME development to garner optimum results from various initiatives to enhance economic growth.

This, he said, is reflected in the establishment of the National Entrepreneur and SME Development Council (NESDC), formerly known as National SME Development Council.

Wan Junaidi said a total of 211 entrepreneurship and SME development programmes are being implemented this year with a total allocation of RM12.9 billion, as reported by 17 ministries and more than 60 agencies.

“SMEs should take advantage of this consultative approach to communicate their needs reasonably. Every party must assume their part well in order to revive the economy within the shortest time possible,” he added. – Bernama