The decision to allow the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector to remain open during the two-week lockdown which begins tomorrow is due to its critical connection with global healthcare and medical devices needs, the finance ministry said today.
It said the E&E sector contributes RM386 billion or 40% of Malaysia’s annual exports, and makes up about 7% of the global semiconductor trade.
“In one instance, Malaysia is critical as the sole production site for aluminium substrate for all hard drives being produced by a factory in Johor, for onward feeding into the company’s global supply chain.
“Additionally, in 2020, about RM15 billion of fresh investments in the E&E sector had been approved, set to create 20,000 more jobs for Malaysians,” the ministry said.
The ministry also said the short-term closure of the E&E sector would have the potential to disrupt supplies from Malaysia, which would affect the supply of essential goods in the country as well as globally.
In a statement, it said closing the E&E sector during the lockdown could have a long-term impact of diverting trade and investment from Malaysia, and hurting the country’s competitiveness in the global value chain.
“We already experienced this in MCO 1.0, when various Malaysian manufacturers reported that their orders had been diverted to other producing countries including China.”
The National Security Council yesterday announced that the E&E sector was among those that would be allowed to operate during the lockdown which will continue until June 14.
The finance ministry said the move to allow sectors such as E&E to continue operating was crucial to protecting the well-being of the people and ensuring the continuity of the supply chain for essential products and services.
Other sectors that will remain open during the lockdown period include the aerospace industry, oil and gas, and manufacturing sectors.
“The finance ministry would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the nationwide approach is crucial to beating this pandemic.
“As such, all members of the public and businesses are requested to play their part and strictly comply with SOPs to help break the chain of transmission,” it said.