KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — The most-affected sectors that contributed to the fall in the Industrial Production Index (IPI) are those which were not allowed to operate in order to curb the COVID-19 transmission, according to Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong.
Speaking in Parliament today, he said the sectors concerned were transport equipment and other manufactures; non-metallic minerals, basic metal and fabricated metal products; wood products, furniture, paper products and printing; and textiles, apparel wear, leather products and footwear.
He explained that data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia for the manufacturing sector IPI showed a contraction of 0.2 per cent in June 2021 after recording a growth of 29.8 per cent in May 2021.
“The decrease in production output was in line with the closure of these sectors during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period where permission was only given to put machines on standby (warm idle) for the automotive, iron and steel, cement, ceramics and glass sectors.
“Meanwhile, other sectors such as wood, furniture, textiles, and apparel wear were still not allowed to operate during the MCO period and Phase One of the National Recovery Plan,” he said in response to an oral question from Rubiah Awang (GPS-Kota Samarahan) on which industrial sectors had been most affected since the country was hit by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, in answering additional questions on efforts to enhance bilateral trade relations during the MCO period, Lim said his ministry had conducted several such missions virtually.
Matching programmes and investment missions were also held online during the MCO period, he said.