Update laws to suit new norm

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING: Federal Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has advised the relevant authorities to encourage micro and informal businesses to operate from home and to find ways to do so while adhering to safety standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“Due to many factors, more and more opt to operate home business. And now in response to the government’s call for businesses to digitalise their operations, it may no longer be necessary to operate via a physical shop.

“It is time we update and upgrade the existing laws and regulations to suit the new norm and help create a more conducive environment for small businesses to thrive so that they can also contribute to the post-Covid-19 economic recovery,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, in response to reports that several petty traders were fined RM50,000 for violating Covid-19 SOPs by operating from their homes, he said the authorities should use their discretion on the matter.

“Logically, how can a burger seller afford a RM50,000 fine? These people do not have much money. The reason why they are operating from their homes is probably to keep their overhead cost low.

“This is something that we need to seriously take into consideration and I would suggest that we allow small businesses to operate from their homes but they need to adhere to SOPs such as customers are only allowed to take away their food, no dining in,” said the Santubong MP.

There are currently close to two million micro businesses across the country, and the majority have been seriously impacted by the pandemic as a result of movement control orders placed by the government to control the spread of the virus.

Due to the current difficult economic situation, which has resulted in a high number of employers being laid off, Medac anticipates that more people will start small businesses to make ends meet.