KUALA LUMPUR (July 22): The mechanical and electrical (M&E) sector is now at the “breaking point” as the manufacturing-related, supply chain and maintenance segments have not been allowed to operate, according to the Malaysia Council of Mechanical and Electrical Association (MCMEA).
Chairman Michelle Hah said although some of the association’s members belong to the critical support and essential services group, they had not been able to obtain approvals to operate since June 1.
She said these members supply essential industrial electrical replacement peripherals and equipment that are critical to the continuity of electrical supply to all industries, factories, sewerage and water treatment plants and essential buildings, such as hospitals and others.
While M&E services members (consisting of contractors, services engineers, integrators, maintenance personnel and competent personnel) are required to attend to critical safety and crucial maintenance work, many were rejected by the Covid-19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS) 3.0.
“Without safety and maintenance works being carried out, many essential plants, facilities and buildings will suffer power failures, false alarms and breakdown of the buildings’ M&E services.
“This will gravely affect data centres, food storage, hospitals’ intensive care units (ICUs) and the ventilation of vaccine delivery centres, among others,” she said in a statement.
Hah said businesses are badly affected by the ongoing movement restrictions, suffering from serious losses and tight cash flows, which could lead to seven million workers losing their jobs.
“We expect the unemployment rate to rise up to a record of more than one million by August,” said Hah.
The association urged the government to speed up and prioritise the vaccination of workers in industries and allow businesses to resume operations, which would help to reduce the unemployment rate and subsequently help the economy to recover.
“Vaccination will be the way forward to save lives and livelihoods as we will have to live with this virus in our society,” she added.
The MCMEA is a coalition of six associations, including over 3,000 member companies that employ more than 100,000 workers.