SAMENTA Calling For Compassion From The Government

SAMENTA Calling For Compassion From The Government

From left to right – Datuk William Ng, Chairman, Mr Wel Kam, President, Datuk Koay, former President

Datuk William Ng, Chairman of policy and government relations of SAMENTA stated that he hopes the government would show compassion to the local SMEs. During the SAMENTA Installation and media event which was held recently at Petaling Jaya, Ng shared that the MCO has crippled the economy and create uncertainties if it will happen again.

Some SMEs are also facing the challenges of deciding to let go of their staff nor to open for business. As it was announced by the Prime Minister that the MCO will not happen again is good news to all SMEs.

Another issue that Ng wishes to highlight is when the government agencies such as the polis, are patroling and found out any of the SMEs did not comply with the SOP, it would be if the government bodies will show leniency by giving a warning first, before issuing a summon of RM 10,000 or RM 50,000.

SMEs Reported Lower Sales In 2020

Datuk William Ng presenting the “State of our SMEs” survey’s insights

During the event, Ng shared insights about a survey titled ‘State of our SMEs’ conducted by SAMENTA and found 54% of SMEs have reported substantially lower sales last year as a result of the pandemic. Only 30% of SMEs have reported an increase in sales in 2020.

According to Ng, this is actually better than expected, as some sectors such as medical equipment, electronics, logistics and e-commerce have benefitted from the pandemic. 

“The pandemic and the lockdowns have created havoc for most SMEs. Sectors such as tourism, construction, events and retail were the hardest hit, with some experiencing business reduction by more than 70%. However, there were also winners, especially those sectors that directly benefited from the lockdown as well as businesses that were able to pivot to other segments”, Ng said.

Among the initiatives introduced by the government, SMEs found the wage subsidy programme to be the most helpful, with 70% benefitting from it. Other soft loans such as the Special Relief Fund were also critical in helping SMEs who were cash-strapped during the lockdowns. 

With the help of these aids, only 10% of all SMEs retrenched their employees last year and 7% anticipated further retrenchment in 2021. 

The Uncertainties Ahead

Still, there are uncertainties ahead even the vaccine roll-out globally

However, in this challenging economic climate and uncertainty over the vaccine roll-out globally, most SMEs (75%) rated business prospects in 2021 as either fair or bad.

61% of those SMEs expect a recovery during the fourth quarter of 2021. Whereas, 28% expected a turnaround by 2022. 

“This pessimism, despite the vaccine roll-out and a promise by the Prime Minister that there will not be any blanket MCO moving forward, is the result of policy uncertainties. While we have good intentions when it comes to the various policies – be it for economic recovery or to safeguard the health of Malaysians, the roll-out is often seen as ill-prepared, with SOPs only announced days or weeks after major policies are announced”, Ng added.

“We hope the government will continue doing a good job of engaging with the civil society before deciding on any policy. And more importantly, come to these engagement sessions with an open mind, rather than using these sessions as mere rubber stamps for their decisions”, Ng said. 

Introducing The Central Committee Members

SAMENTA committee members

Earlier on, there was an installation and introduction of SAMENTA Central Committee Members. Leading the central committee is Datuk William Ng as the Chairman, Datin Lorela Chia as the Deputy Chairman, and Suresh Gorasia as the Vice-Chairman.

The rest of the committees’ members are:
– Dato’ Patrick Ong
– Edwin Lai
– Joey Hui
– Maresa Ng
– Melissa Chan
– Ong Peng Yeow
– Stefan Cheng
– Timothy Liew
– Victor Patrick Yeo

According to Ng, SAMENTA will continue to be the voice of the SMEs and will speak without fear or favour on issues that affect the SMEs.

At the same time, SAMENTA will continue to serve as a bridge for agencies to reach out to the SMEs and provide timely feedback on issues affecting our SMEs.

Small And Medium Enterprise Association – SAMENTA

SAMENTA is the oldest SME association in Malaysia

Formed in 1986, SAMENTA is Malaysia’s oldest association for small and medium enterprises.

Their mission is to champion the development of local SMEs through a four-prong approach such as:

  • Policy consultation
  • Market access
  • Business amplification
  • Capacity building. 

Apart from that, SAMENTA is having a membership drive currently until Sept 2021.

For more information about the membership drive, please check out their website or Facebook.

Melissa Chan

A die hard coffee fan who enjoys reading European histories, a chatter box and will drive people nuts for non-stop talking!

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