UPDATE: Furniture Today contacted Homelegance, a case goods and upholstery resource that utilizes Malaysian producers and found that in addition to the highly localized nature of the “opening” currently underway the ability of companies to get materials and components will play a significant role in the ability of factories there to return to some semblance of normal production. “Just because factories say it’s time to open doesn’t mean they are going to be up to whatever capacity is typical,” said Jamie Collins, executive vice president at Homelegance. “Even if they open 100% they are at the mercy of their suppliers and sub-contractors. We anticipate it will take several weeks for a factory to get close to full capacity.”
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Collins indicated it will likely be mid-to-late September before production throughout the furniture manufacturing regions of Malaysia approach levels seen before the June shutdown.
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — The Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry has issued guidelines enabling manufacturing within the country to reopen effective Aug. 16, subject to immunization levels. Manufacturing within the country has been effectively shut down since early June.
Citing the success of the country’s immunization program and the launch of a Public-Private Partnership COVID-19 Industry immunization program, the ministry indicated that 700,000 manufacturing sector workers have been fully immunized to date. The ministry will allow manufacturers to resume production based on immunization levels among their workforce.
Furniture Today spoke with Derrick Ng, president of Lifestyle Case Goods, who indicated that resumption of manufacturing throughout the country is occurring on a case-by-case basis depending on the immunization levels within individual regions and at individual factories. He pointed out that the majority of furniture manufactured for export to the U.S. comes from the country’s southern region, where immunization levels are comparatively lower than in northern provinces.
“It will likely be mid-September before we see resumption of significant manufacturing for export to the United States,” Ng told Furniture Today.
According to news reports Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet resigned today, citing the loss of their parliamentary majority. The resignations come as the country struggles to deal with a resurgent COVID-19 outbreak that has resulted in multiple rounds of lockdowns that have crippled the country’s manufacturing sector.
Under the new guidelines released by the ministry, manufacturing sector companies that are not listed as essential services are allowed to operate based on the rate of their fully vaccinated workers. Manufacturing sector companies listed as essential services in NRP’s Phase 1, 2 and 3 areas are allowed to increase their capacity based on the rate of fully vaccinated workers.
The guidelines for companies to resume manufacturing are as follows:
40%-59% fully vaccinated workers — Allowed to operate at 60% capacity
60%-79% fully vaccinated workers — Allowed to operate at 80% capacity
80%-100% fully vaccinated workers — Allowed to operate at 100% capacity
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