KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — The Federation of Malaysian Fashion, Textiles and Apparels (FMFTA) has urged the government to allow the industry to resume operations in Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
It said that manufacturers and retailers have been facing losses amounting to RM163 million per day due to the shutdown.
FMFTA chairman Datuk Seri Tan Thian Poh said the federation is planning to send an appeal letter to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the National Security Council (MKN) and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs today.
“We are deeply concerned that our industry will only be allowed to operate under Phase Three of the NRP, as most of our members would not be able to survive if we were to wait for the transition from Phase One to Phase Three without operating.
“There is a great urgency for the industry to be allowed to operate in Phase Two to avoid the collapse of the industry, as a prolonged shutdown will put the 500,000 employees at stake and this will definitely aggravate the unemployment rate in Malaysia,” he said during a virtual press conference today.
In 2020, the industry’s annual manufacturing sales value stood at RM24.23 billion, hence, the industry’s losses in revenue due to the shutdown during the movement control order (MCO) is estimated to be RM80.8 million per workday.
Meanwhile, the industry’s retailers recorded a retail sales value of RM29.6 billion in 2020, thus, the shutdown meant an estimated loss of revenue amounting to RM82.2 million per day.
The industry also saw export value declining to RM21 billion from RM27 billion in 2019 due to the pandemic.
Tan said that since the first MCO, 15 per cent of the fashion, textile and apparel businesses have ceased their operations and another 30 per cent are on the verge of closure due to the lack of cash flow and future uncertainties.
He said FMFTA foresees that more than 30 per cent of the retailers would collapse before Phase Three of the NRP, and 150,000 employees would be retrenched if the government does not allow them to operate in Phase Two of the NRP.
“We can see that waiting for cases to drop below 4,000 is not practical. As such, we urge the government to review the threshold set by MKN to move the country to Phase Two of the NRP immediately instead of waiting,” he said.
The federation comprises 12 association members, representing the whole supply chain of the fashion, textile and apparel industry.
It represents fashion designers, models, boutique owners, brand owners, jewellery makers, leatherwear producers, retailers, fashion accessories suppliers, batik entrepreneurs and the manufacturers of footwear, clothing, apparel and textile. — Bernama