Stop the populist moves and do what is important for the rakyat

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The move by current administration for employers to contribute 20% towards the EPF is untimely as most businesses are just trying to get back on their feet.

My family and I run a small shoe manufacturing business in the Nilai Industrial Area and have been in operations for over 15 years.

We have about 50 employees and have been making a decent living since the business was set up.

However, as most other business, the recent Covid-19 and movement control orders (MCO) hit us really badly.

We were forced to cut salaries and totally do away with any overtime or extra benefits for our staff.

We dug deep into our reserves to keep all our staff as they have been with us for many years and also have families to feed.

It was the toughest times of our lives, but fortunately with the help of the government at that time, we were able to weather it and are still operating till today.

Our business is just picking up and we have only recently settled all outstanding debts and have resumed to paying our staff their full salaries.

Production is almost 100 percent and hopefully in a month or so, we will be able to reintroduce all our staff benefits, including overtime.

What irks us most at this time is the move by the current Anwar Ibrahim administration for employers to contribute 20 percent towards the EPF.

Azhar Mahfof/The Star

The timing for such a move is totally out as most businesses are just trying to get back on their feet.

To most business operators like us, this move by the prime minister is seen as nothing more than a populist move in view of the upcoming state elections.

From our point of view, it is a totally senseless move, made without taking into consideration the plight of business operators.

The PM must not let his political manoeuvrings affect his sense of judgement and try to earn some extra brownie points at the expense of the rakyat.

One thing the current administration can do to really win over the rakyat, many of whom are still suffering, is to put a stop to the move by Bank Negara Malaysia to raise the OPR.

We cannot understand how this is allowed in such dire economic times when everyone is still picking up the pieces following the horrid Covid-19 and MCO.

There are also fears mounting that we may be once again hit by another wave of Covid-19 considering the increasing number of infections lately.

To us, small business operators and I believe many more, it seems like the present administration has its priorities all mixed up.

Burden the people – raise the OPR and overlook the imminent dangers of the growing number of infections.

Its time Anwar get his act together and stop jet-setting around the world to gain popularity.

Get down to work and do what matters, which is to help the people and revive the economy.

The views expressed here are strictly those of Khairul Nizam Ziauddin from Nilai.