Kuala Lumpur, 24 May 2021 – Under the current pressing pandemic situation when public health and safety are at its most critical, Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) believes a full Movement Control Order (MCO) similar to MCO 1.0 for a specific period is necessary to break the chain and to curb the wave driven by more infectious COVID-19 variants.
On the other hand, PAM is equally concerned on the continuous challenges suffered by businesses and employers who are affected by the MCO. In fighting COVID-19, the public and private sector have to work hand in hand to preserve jobs and ensure businesses survival for long term job security instead of one-off subsidy to individuals.
In such circumstance, PAM believes that the implementation of MCO needs to be accompanied with the following measures:
- ‘Economic Stand Still’ model, namely six months loan repayment moratoriums and utility bill deferments to reduce operational cost to businesses and individual expenses;
- Lateral cost sharing policy, namely 25 per cent reduction in business properties rental, residential property rental, private employees and public servant wages;
- Residential properties utility bill rebate or discount up to 25 per cent to support employees working from home and students studying from home;
- Subsidised high-speed internet throughout MCO period to encourage working from home;
- Expedite vaccination programme with tax claimable incentives for private vaccination initiatives;
- Special grant or tax relief for digitalisation and automation of businesses to increase productivity including hardware and software;
- Amendment of COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 as recommended by the construction industry stakeholders to include provision for general extension of time and cost sharing, and preventive measures provisions;
- Permit for digital transmission of documents and online payment transactions, including submission of tender, application for plan approval, submission of reports, plan fee payment, development charges etc.;
- Permit for virtual meeting and discussion with and among local authorities and regulators without the need to be physically present and/or queuing at the service counter, and to ensure continuity of statutory approval process without delay; and
- Permit for operations for selected essential services and critical construction, maintenance and repair work to continue to prevent the risk to safety and health.
PAM also anticipates that a full MCO coupled with expedient vaccination rollout will be able to curb the spread of COVID-19 and enable us to begin the transition toward normalcy and herd immunity.
– Construction+ Online