The current Covid-19 outbreak has caused the business events sector in Malaysia to lose an estimated total loss of over RM1.5 billion to date. In just three months (between February and April 2020), a total of 47 business events were cancelled and another 62 being postponed nationwide. Business events represents the MICE industry which comprises meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, both at local and international level.
At this point of writing, the Government has just imposed the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) implemented under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967 from March 18 to 31, 2020. This will have to be complied with as part of the country’s efforts to contain the disease.
We urge all industry players to comply with the directives set up by the Government to help contain the outbreak of the disease, including calling off events involving a big number of participants.
It is still uncertain at this juncture what the situation will be in the third or fourth quarters, but MACEOS will continue to actively engage with the government and the various agencies to mitigate the economic impact of the outbreak to both our local industry players and the economy as a whole.
During a tourism recovery action council called by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), MACEOS has proposed various initiatives in addition to the current 2020 Economic Stimulus Package, to help the industry tide over the tough times. This includes the waiver of Sales & Services Tax for convention centres and the waiver of company tax and personal income tax to ease the strain on cash flow.
A special task force dealing with Covid-19 has also been set up by MACEOS to tackle various issues affecting the industry. Meanwhile, the task force will continue to hold regular online meetings with all Presidents of BE Trade Association in ASEAN region to discuss how best to mitigate the issues in the regional market.