GEORGE TOWN, Sept 6 — Following the surge in COVID-19 cases in Penang in recent weeks, with 70 per cent of cases attributed to workplace clusters, the state government will collaborate with the industry players for a more targeted approach in implementing the standard operating procedures (SOPs) within the business community.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said under this initiative, Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) would introduce access to the SOP from CREST member companies and a consolidated COVID-19 Management Best Practice SOP as reference with the aim of assisting small medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state to operate safely and optimally.
“Penang may be known best as home to many industrial heavyweights but the presence of SMEs is undoubtedly the backbone of the electrical and electronics industry.
“Therefore, it is critical that we ensure proper measures are put in place for continuity of our supply chain, more so as the country progresses from a COVID-19 pandemic to an endemic phase,” he said in a virtual press conference on the collaboration, here, today.
Also present was state executive councillor for Trade, Industry and Entrepreneur Development, Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain; Deputy State Secretary (Management), Ahmad Rizal Mohd Hanapiah; Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Penang director, Jegan Subramaniam and CREST chief executive officer, Jaffri Ibrahim.
Jaffri said CREST was pleased to have played a role in formulating the consolidated COVID-19 Management Best Practice SOP and hoped that the SMEs would implement these procedures to ensure business continuity.
He added that CREST would also conduct education and awareness sessions to assist SMEs on the proper COVID-19 control measures and procedures to safeguard both their employees and facilities.
Abdul Halim, meanwhile, said that he would head a focus group to provide advisory support to SMEs in the state to combat the spread of COVID-19, which would also comprise representatives from CREST and its member companies, the Penang COVID-19 Immunisation Focus Group, COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF), MITI Penang, Invest Penang, Penang Development Corporation and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers.
“The COVID-19 Management Best Practice SOP presented by CREST complements the SOP laid down by the National Security Council and will set a precedent for SMEs in the state to resume their business in a controlled and careful manner,” he said.