Stern action necessary on errant factory operators

KUCHING: The federal government’s move to take stern action against errant factory operators that did not comply with the set standard operating procedures (SOPs) was lauded.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he supported the decision as the surge in Covid-19 cases caused by these sectors is affecting small traders.

“The sharp rise in cases is mostly focused in urban and industrial areas. Yet many were affected by this including small traders who did not contribute to the rise of Covid-19 cases.

“Operators of the economic and factory sectors not only need to ensure compliance with SOPs in the workplace, but control the situation in employee hostels.

“Employees’ health is the responsibility of the employer,” he said in a Facebook post on Sunday (July 18) commenting on the decision by the federal government to act against these errant operators.

“With the high vaccination rate, our country is getting closer to group immunisation. Yet this is a futile endeavour if the spread of pandemic in industrial areas is not controlled,” he said.

Last Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will not compromise with factories which do not comply with the SOPs set.

Ismail Sabri said various excuses were given by the factory management to the authorities, including not knowing that their employees had not scanned the MySejahtera code even though the authorities had given clear instructions.

He said several factories are still breaching the SOPs, citing last Wednesday when 180 factories were closed while several others were compounded.

Ismail Sabri said since June 25 until July 16, some 994 business premises have been closed, 3,610 issued with compounds and 112 detained by the authorities through Ops Patuh conducted at electrical component and food manufacturing factories around Klang.