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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Multi racial coalition form to tackle issues affecting SMEs in view of the series of price hikes 跨领域族群加强发言权 工商会结盟抗涨潮

From right : K. Subramaniam,Mohd Fazil Abdullah, Michael Kang , Madhu , Mr. CHAREON S. TANG WHYE AUN

KL and Selangor Indian chamber of commerce and Industry ( KLSICCI ) would form a multi-racial, multi industry, and multi territory coalition with Malaysia Muslim chamber of Economic and Social Affairs ( DESMMA ), SMI Malaysia, The Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia (TEEAM), KL and Selangor Chinese chamber of Commerce and Industry, Malaysia Retailer-Chains Association and Kuala Lumpur, Malay chamber of Commerce to tackle issues affecting SMEs in view of the series of price hikes.

出席10大公会及商会的代表, 踊跃交流, 纷纷说出各自面对的困境。

"Given the rising costs and a sluggish economic environment, the picture doesn't look good for local business." said KLSICCI president Madhu Sudan Nair : "Malaysian SMEs are already fighting to survive in a very competitive environment.....with all the price increases happening at the same time, it is going to make it even harder for businesses"

According to the DESMMA president Mohd Fazil Abdullah, the increases in prices, the increases in prices were too drastic and too rapid for local businesses.

This is a sort of "tsunami" for is too drastic for us rto absorb." Mohd Fazil said.

In recent months, the  Government has reduced its subsidies for fuel, resulting in the increase of the prices of RON95 petrol and diesel by 20 sen to RM2.10 and RM2 per litre, respectively. It had also abolished the 34 sen per-kg subsidy for sugar, resulting in the price of domestic refined sugar increasing to RM2.84 per kg.

And starting next month, the average electricity tariffs in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Labuan will increase by 15% to 38.54sen perkWh and 34.52sen/kWh, respectively, as the Government scales back subsidies for the power sector.

There were also concerns raised over the increase in assessment rates for properties in Kuala Lumpur and the impending hike in toll rates.

SMI Malaysia deputy President Michael Kang said many SMEs would be in trouble if they could not adapt to the change in business environment next year. "We don't know what's going to happen in 2014," Kang said, adding that there would be negative implications on the country's economic growth and employment rate if SMEs failed.

SMI Malaysia deputy President Michael Kang

SMEs represent 97.3% of all businesses in Malaysia, and account for 32% of the country's gross domestic product and 52.7% of total employment in the country.

According to local business chambers and associations, Malaysia SMEs are already facing intense competition from foreign businesses that had penetrated the Malaysian market, yet many local companies are not competitive enough to go into foreign markets due to their relatively higher cost of production.

TEEAM vice-president K. Subramaniam, in voicing his concerns about the future of local manufacturers, said some players faced the prospects of being shut down due to an inability to compete effectively.

"Malaysian SMEs will face a tremendous uphill battle in the coming months," Madhu said. "Many businesses are currently already operating on a profit margin of 4% to 5%...all the (recently announced) price increases are definitely going to add to their production costs," he noted.

"We know our costs will definitely go, but we don't know by how much," he explained.

"In business, we must be able to estimate our costs in order to be competitive...but now, we don't" Madhu said.

Madhu stressed that local businesses were not against the policies of subsidy rationalisation, but they believed such a move must be don in "Structured" way, and accompanied by a move to open up the market by getting rid of monopolies. He also said the Government should have rationalised subsidies in an even more gradual manner to give more time for businesses to absorb the rising cost.

Mr. CHAREON S. TANG WHYE AUN, Deputy President of  KL and Selangor Chinese chamber of Commerce and Industry said minimum wage of RM900 reasonable in Kuala Lumpur and Klang valley. In fact, it is too low for this area. However,, in plantation estate where employer provide food and accommodation. RM900per month is too high in those remote area

跨领域族群加强发言权 工商会结盟抗涨潮

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