UMNO President Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi questioned the government over the high number of companies that have been granted approval to remain operational as they are considered ‘essential’ during the lockdown.
In a Facebook post, Zahid wrote, “initially, only 95,142 were considered ‘essential’. Not long after that, the number rose to 128,150. The day after tomorrow, who knows how many more businesses will be categorized as essential?”
Zahid also questioned if the number figure included factories that lied in their applications to the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI), following several complaints on social media regarding “non-essential” companies operating secretly.
He added, “investigate and act immediately to address these issues. Fourteen days is not that long. We need to win (the fight against Covid-19).”
Moreover, Zahid explained that it was unfair to blame all business owners and factories as many do not have enough support to enable a temporary halt in their operations without the risk of bankruptcy, which could cause many more employees to lose their jobs.
Meanwhile, Zahid said people would be able to practice ‘self-lockdowns’ if there were more inclusive moratorium, reduction in loan installments, and i-Sinar 2.0 withdrawal programme from the Employees Provident Fund.