The Malaysian government’s national Budget 2021, tabled on November 6 came as a disappointment as there were no specific provisions for the business events industry.
Alan Pryor, chairman, Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) and general manager at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, pointed out: “Regrettably, there were no specific provisions made for the business events industry in the Budget 2021. Like many sectors, our industry has been hit hard by Covid-19 with event cancellations or postponements that affect the whole supply chain from event planners and exhibition organisers, to the accommodation, retail and aviation sectors.”
Pryor said that while it is understandable the Malaysian government has many demands placed pon it due to the ongoing pandemic, he urged them to consider allocating funds towards grants ad subsidy support for the industry’s supply chain.
Other recommendations he put forth in relation to the MICE sector includes greater engagement and open dialogue with the business events industry to grow comprehension of the value of the sector; and endorsement of the business events sector being recognised in its own right.
He also asked the government to consider easing restrictions imposed on business events in areas under the new Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), as there are stringent SOPs in place to execute a safe, controlled and regulated environment.
“This means we can adjust participant numbers according to alert levels and venue size. Allowing even small groups to meet will help sustain the industry and limit the damage of a complete shutdown,” he added.
Pryor stressed: “Business events can play a crucial role in spurring Malaysia’s economic recovery and this why it is important the value of our industry is recognised and supported during these tough times. This will also help us strengthen the country’s attractive business events proposition to grow strongly and compete in a highly challenging and competitive international arena once the situation allows.”