LABUAN: The Labuan business community fears that COVID-19 would lead to an economic drought detrimental to its survival.
“No one is able to predict how much negative impact it will have on businesses as the virus infection cases appear to increase day by day,” industry leaders here lamented.
Referring to the economic stimulus package and other financial assistance introduced by the government to lessen the impact, the Labuan Chinese Chamber of Commerce is requesting for tax exemption, for at least six months, to allow its members to navigate the predicament they are in.
Chamber president Datuk Wong Kii Yii described the growing impact of COVID-19 on business activities in Labuan as significant with 85 per cent of the chamber’s members are struggling to make ends meet.
“Consumers (customers) stay home, businesses lose revenue, a lapse in monthly business premises rental, workers are laid off, thus possible rise in unemployment level and corporate bankruptcies soar, putting significant pressure on the business establishment, like us.
“We have been impacted in terms of income, businesses are drowning in debt, thus we hope the government is willing to consider our appeal (tax exemption) to enable us to stay afloat,” he told Bernama.
Facing the stark reality of waning consumer confidence, liquidity crisis and risk of credit defaults, the local business body stressed it is incumbent upon the government to address the situation promptly