banner image
Press Release

Balancing Health with Employment

Dato NK Jasani, Country Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Malaysia PLT comments:

KUALA LUMPUR, 17 April 2020: It is sad to read the recent news that over 5 decades strong garment group, Esquel Malaysia, is closing its operations and retrenching all the workforce.

This garment group has factories in Penang and Kelantan and employs more than 3,000 workers.

Unfortunately, there will be many more such closures plus retrenchments and downsizing of workforce due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health is of course even more important. The Government is doing a good job with the MCO lasting 6 weeks and ending on 28 April.

The Government now needs to also take a more focused approach of testing and treating the high clusters areas.

At the same time, it will be good for the Government to allow offices, shops and factories to resume operations after 28 April 2020 with all the required precautions.

To ensure that there is no new spread of Covid-19, all the restaurants, coffee shops, schools, universities and religious places could still be closed for a longer time. Additionally, not to allow any events where there could be a gathering of people like night or Ramadan markets.

However, with all the required precautions, offices, factories and shops should be allowed to operate. These strict precautions to include daily temperature checks, using sanitizers, washing hands, wearing face masks, anti-virus fogging and social distancing.

Companies must also use video conferencing for meetings and report and act immediately on any health concerns. The business’ concerns must be strictly held accountable but be allowed to operate under the stipulated conditions. If there is a delay in implementing the above, we will have numerous business failures, high unemployment and growing pockets of poverty.

Additionally, EPF could certainly do more for the cashflow of employers and thereby preserving employment in these critical times. EPF should consider freezing EPF payments from both employers and employees for 3 months, ie. from April to June 2020. This amount of funds will definitely be helpful and be the make-or-break for the survival of marginal companies and their employees.



Further enquiries, please contact:

Charmane Koh

Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs

Grant Thornton Malaysia PLT

T: +603 2692 4022

M: +017 3384563



Copy text of article