Industry leaders have urged Putrajaya to improve the Covid-19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS) 3.0, the portal responsible for the SOPs for businesses throughout the total lockdown period to prevent confusion and ensure the transparency of companies seeking the government’s green light to remain open.
Soh Thian Lai, president of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, said the suggestion came in the wake of reports on companies and manufacturers manipulating the letters of permission issued by the international trade and industry ministry (Miti) through CIMS 3.0, which is powered by Miti’s Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute.
“Miti holds this system for the other 17 ministries and agencies. However, Miti is only responsible for manufacturing and manufacturing-related services. The other ministries and agencies will approve their applications using CIMS 3.0.”
He suggested that to prevent confusion, CIMS 3.0 be renamed as CIMS 3.0 MKN, referring to the National Security Council, with every letter of approval issued through a common platform acceptable to all.
“The reason is because MKN under the Prime Minister’s Office is the authority managing the SOPs in this health crisis.”
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, he further proposed that the system be linked with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) for confirmation of the nature of business of the company applying for permission to operate.
He added that manufacturers could be obliged to attach their manufacturing licences when submitting their applications.
It was recently reported that a factory making helmets was issued a compound of RM10,000 after claiming to produce personal protective equipment.
There were also reports of a photography company being given the green light to remain open despite not falling in the category of essential services.
Ahmad Aliff A S Ahmad Shariffuddin, co-founder of SCRUT and Interepo which offers online database services, said it would not be difficult to integrate data from SSM in CIMS 3.0.
“They would only need to request for the application programming interface from SSM to be included in the CIMS 3.0 system,” he said.
Syed Hussain Syed Husman, president of the Malaysian Employers Federation, said one suggestion was for the penalty to be revised to a rate higher than the RM10,000 compound handed to the helmet manufacturing company.
“But this needs to take into account the size of the company and whether it had committed similar offences earlier,” he added.
“To prevent such incidents from recurring, Miti may wish to obtain details on the company’s nature of business and the products it makes when it submits its application through CIMS 3.0,” he told MalaysiaNow.
But Federation of Malaysian Business Associations adviser Ameer Ali Mydin said the bigger issue with CIMS 3.0 was the long waiting time for approval.
He said business owners should not be made a victim of long waiting times just because of a few who are dishonest.
“You cannot stop the industry just because there are a few bad apples,” he said. “We have to think of the majority of companies which are honest and only want to run their business.”
He suggested that the government give approval first, according to its criteria, before beefing up its enforcement later on.
He added that many companies that are not categorised as essential services are waiting for permission to operate online.
More than 120,000 companies have been given the green light to continue running throughout the lockdown period, involving 1.57 million workers of the 10.2 million who applied through CIMS 3.0.
Miti had also set up a special operations centre to ensure the coordination of CIMS 3.0 and the smooth processing of applications in line with the SOPs set out under the movement control order.