Over 500k MSMEs at risk of closure if not allowed to operate

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi

KUCHING: It is estimated that 580,000 businesses, representing 49 per cent of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the country, are at risk of closure by October if they are not allowed to operate by then.

Federal Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this was following a survey conducted by the ministry from June 15 to 28.

A total of 6,664 entrepreneurs nationwide took part in the survey, in which 60 per cent said they were suffering from at least one form of mental health during the lockdown.

“A large number of entrepreneurs suffering from this condition are those aged between 35 and 44, involved in service-based businesses and have been operating their businesses for more than 10 years,” he said on Monday (July 19).

The survey aimed to gauge the impact of the movement control order 3.0 on the local entrepreneurship landscape.

It also revealed that many businesses were suffering from ‘business fatigue’ syndrome and declining confidence.

“About one-third of the respondents said they did not receive the various assistance introduced by the government.”

He said the impact of the lockdown was not only affecting the economic aspect but also the social aspect as well.

“The government is aware that people are suffering and is looking into ways to come up with a balanced solution to resolve this matter. Lockdown is no longer the solution.

“On the plus side, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has principally agreed to allow businesses that do not contribute to the spread of Covid-19, to open up with stricter standard operating procedures.”

Wan Junaidi added that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob too mentioned that he wanted to meet him to discuss ways to help the MSMEs, and would soon meet to discuss more.