Do we see any relevance to these 4 things? Moratorium, economic recovery, business closures and retrenchments? Let’s run through it briefly and perhaps have a brief conclusion at the end.
Moratorium of 6 months was a clever decision. It gives everyone a breathing space; businesses and employees may now stay focused on how to save their business or find a new job and not to worry about loan repayments every month. When businesses are closed, there are no revenue and profits, surely cannot pay loan. When people lose their job, whatever savings they have should be for necessities. They should not worry about loans because they actually have no salary. Moratorium has one assumption as well. It assumes that the businesses would have restarted before end of September and people who were retrenched would have a job by then.
Economic recovery has to happen sooner than later. It cannot only happen after COVID-19 is gone. By then, the whole economic would have gone as well. Thus, current steps are taken to facilitate the reopening of businesses. For example, a kopi tiam (F&D outlet) which used to have 300 customers per day may today only have 80 from dine in and another 80 from food delivery. This seems low or not enough but this is already a start versus having to close down… There will never be a sudden restart and every businesses suddenly have all their customers back. Let’s be realistic. Economic recovery simply meant RECOVERY… and recovery has to start first.
Business closures (closure and going out of business are two different things okay) was the order of the day in the beginning of our Movement Control Order. No one could open. Suddenly, everything stopped. Revenues stopped and business owners say they will soon have to shut down and retrench everyone. Then, the moratorium came. Then, Prihatin was launched. Now the CMCO is facilitating the reopening of businesses. Again, if business owners expect the same volume as before closure, they are dreaming. However, in a journey of a thousand miles, the first step has to start. If I look at some neighbourhood food outlets, it’s no longer the first few steps…
Retrenchments happened. Many lost their job. However, if we ever wonder when would we get back a job, then all would depend on when the economic reopens. Else, there is no chance at all for the retrenched to find a job. What needs to happen is also the retrenched would need to be flexible. They may have to do more and take a lower pay for now. They may have to change industry and relearn and reapply. Maybe some would go back to school and learn some new technical skills. Some may be doing a part-time job. Basic idea is to start doing something about it.
All four are inter-linked. Someone told me that even if the businesses start to reopen, it does not mean those retrenched will be able to contribute since they have no money. Erm… is that not the reason why businesses should reopen in the first place? Without businesses reopening, there will never be new job openings. Without new job openings, there will never be salary and these people will never be able to buy things from businesses which reopen. This is not a chicken and egg situation yeah. This is very clearly a business restart and then job happens situation. Happy understanding why jobs will not happen first…
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