KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — The F&B, tourism and hospitality sector has warned the government that delaying assistance will trigger massive job losses, as it appealed for urgent action to shield the industry from the Covid-19 crisis.
“Employers are bleeding and employees are in distress,” HAPA Asia, a private group representing the hospitality business, said in a statement.
“Despite the drop in revenue, obligations remain, including payments to landlords, utility companies, banks, the taxman, suppliers and not forgetting wages.
“The potential percentage of business failures is growing every minute and employees will be out of a job if these businesses fail.
To date, a stimulus of RM26.5 billion has been announced. A large chunk of the packages, around RM1.6 billion, have been or will be channeled into the tourism and hospitality industry, the sector hardest hit by the pandemic.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is set to unveil a third package later this evening, and is expected to be huge.
“Nobody will be left behind,” he said in a televised address earlier this week.
But economists and political rivals have criticised it as being too late, saying the delay is expected to cause millions of jobs and force businesses to shut down.
HAPA Asia agreed. The group said F&B, Hospitality, Tourism establishments and their workers, will simply not be able to survive the disaster without the immediate help and support from the authorities and the government.
“Time is of the essence if these industries and the jobs of the service staff within them who work so hard to serve others are to be saved,” its statement said.