The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (Samenta) has urged the government to reject demands to increase employers’ EPF contributions in a statement released today.
Samenta chairman Datuk William Ng said that the government should instead look into increasing the income of Malaysians by creating more high value jobs as it would be counterproductive to increase EPF contributions during this phase of the country’s economic recovery.
“We urge the Cabinet to reject this opportunistic demand by that fringe workers group, and instead focus on creating higher value jobs for Malaysians and helping Malaysian businesses and workers to be more productive,” he said.
The association also rejected calls from “opportunistic groups” for a ‘stepped’ increase in employers’ EPF contribution.
A responsible government cannot keep being held hostage by opportunistic groups, and our businesses must not partake in this ‘give and take’ approach every time a non-sensical proposal is fielded,” he said.
According to Ng, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have not yet recovered fully from the pandemic, citing data that showed that SMEs only grew by one per cent versus 4.4 per cent for larger firms.
“We must remember that our SMEs have had to endure two rounds of increment in minimum wages since 2020, despite Covid-19, despite a severe dip in our GDP and despite a drop in labour productivity.
“We were also forced to adopt higher employee benefits, including longer maternity leaves and lower threshold for overtime payment,” he said.
Ng said that SMEs have made significant efforts to maintain employment for as many Malaysians as possible during the pandemic, even if it meant using their savings and selling their assets to help the country recover economically.
“As a result, the number of jobs dropped by only 2.5 per cent between early 2020 to mid 2021, despite our GDP shrinking by 5.6 per cent, and between 7 to 12 per cent businesses shutting down in 2020,” he said.Source: malaymail