Government agencies are urged to accommodate businesses, instead of imposing strict regulations, in order to enable a smoother reopening of the country’s economic sectors.

Johor Mentri Besar’s adviser Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said struggling small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which suffered massive losses, because of the pandemic were in need of such support.

Tee, who is also Pontian MCA division chief, said he had met with various business chambers and SME operators who expressed hope that the government would take a more business-friendly approach instead of implementing harsh and rigid measures as the economic sector took a step towards revival.

“They feel that the obstacles and red tape for processes such as the application for business signboards and renewal of business licences can further affect their operations and cash flow.

“The Covid-19 pandemic left a significant impact on Johor’s economy, especially among local and small businesses.

“I have relayed their feedback to Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad and second the call that a friendlier approach be taken by government agencies.

“He has agreed to convey the message to the 16 local councils in Johor to adopt a more pro-business approach to facilitate the economic sectors in their efforts to bounce back,” said Tee.

He said the business community looked forward to the reopening and resumption of economic sectors following the government’s recent move to allow 11 more economic activities to resume.

“Government agencies should play the role of facilitator instead of strict regulator when implementing policies, as this humanised-approach will encourage new businesses and existing ones to continue operating and contribute to a vibrant economy,” he added.

Tee also urged the business community to abide by the government’s regulations and standard operating procedure under the National Recovery Plan.

This included checking on customers’ vaccination status before allowing them to enter premises, he said.

“Such measures must be taken as the Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet and the road to recovery has to be a two-way street,” he stressed.