KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Carlsberg Malaysia today appealed to the National Security Council to include breweries under the food and beverages sector and allow them to operate once more since the industry is regulated by the Malaysia Food Act 1983.
The giant brewery said it is fully sponsoring Covid-19 vaccinations for its 600 employees and third-party vendors using the Selangor Vaccine Programme (Selvax) in hopes its reopening will happen soon.
It said it has lined up vaccination dates so 100 per cent of its workforce will have completed both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by next month and be ready to start work as soon as breweries are permitted to reopen under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan.
“We fear that a prolonged suspension will lead to an inevitable shortage for domestic markets and embolden illicit alcohol trade, posing a public health risk from unregulated contraband,” Stefano Clini, Carlsberg Malaysia managing director, said in a statement.
“As an international brand with a long history in Malaysia, we are also concerned that the ongoing disruption to our export sales could jeopardise national revenue and our competitiveness as an export production hub, especially if our export customers permanently switch to sourcing from neighbouring markets,” he added.
Carlsberg also said that, according to members of the Confederation of Malaysian Brewers Berhad (CMBB), the brewing industry contributed more than RM2 billion in direct and indirect taxes during the 2020 financial year — a drop of RM420 million or 17 per cent from 2019.
“This does not yet account for the losses in revenue or tax contributions by around 35,000 Malaysian businesses which rely on beer as a source of income, according to CMBB estimates,” it added.