Look beyond yourselves, SME company leader tells entrepreneurs

SMEs have expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of government aid during the Covid-19 crisis.

PETALING JAYA: The leader of a small and medium enterprise (SME) group has urged entrepreneurs to look beyond themselves and focus instead on those who are struggling to cope under the movement control order (MCO), as business leaders question the lack of handouts for companies in the government’s economic stimulus package.

Amanda Chong, the chief operating officer of Far Capital Group, said the property-related business which employs 70 people had also been affected by Covid-19 and the MCO.

“Basically, our revenue is close to zero,” said Chong, whose recent social media posting urging entrepreneurs to stop complaining about the stimulus package and be part of the solution had gone viral.

Amanda Chong

“You have been enjoying the profits from your business, buying awards, riding in Mercedes Benz or BMW, big houses, splurging on overseas trips and LV bags and Rolex watches – now is the time to pay back!

“You didn’t offer to share extra profits with the government (in fact I know so many business owners who ‘optimise’ their taxes in extreme ways), so why expect the government to bail you out now? Only the people, especially our B40 community, deserves to be bailed and supported by the government,” she had said.

Speaking to FMT, Chong acknowledged that she had her own concerns.

“I’m worried too, everyone is worried, that is part and parcel of business. But we entrepreneurs do not have to add to the worry. We are supposed to be the most resourceful group of people.

“If you are being negative, then imagine how your employees feel? Their livelihood is tied to you.”

Adding that the government had limited resources, she said these should go towards the welfare of the people, especially those who are not earning or are low-income earners.

“To me it’s not a contest,” she said. “There are bigger concerns like having food on the table.

“We need to look beyond ourselves. We should be looking at the most vulnerable, the low-income group.”

Chong also urged entrepreneurs to have faith and patience, and to give the government time during this unprecedented crisis.

According to The Edge, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz has been meeting with various business associations to better understand their needs.

SME Malaysia president Michael Kang previously said a survey involving 15,627 SMEs found that most had cash flow concerns with only around one-third having enough to last until April.