July 2021 – To support Malaysia’s path to recovery, Heineken Malaysia Berhad (HEINEKEN Malaysia) is committed to ensure 100% of its employees and contractors are fully vaccinated. Over the next two weeks, all staff required to work on-site at HEINEKEN Malaysia’s Sungei Way Brewery in Petaling Jaya are scheduled to receive their second dose of the vaccine through the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (PIKAS), or the AstraZeneca Voluntary Opt-in Programme.
For employees based outside of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the Company will secure their vaccination through the Selangor Covid-19 Vaccination Programme (SelVAX) designated panel clinics nationwide.
Roland Bala, Managing Director of HEINEKEN Malaysia, commented: “We commend the Government on its efforts to accelerate vaccinations through various programmes. We are thankful for the efficient roll-out of PIKAS by Ministry of International Trade and Industry, which has enabled 100% of our brewery’s essential workforce to receive their first dose of the vaccine last week. HEINEKEN Malaysia is committed to protecting the health and safety of our workers, getting our staff vaccinated is a big step towards ensuring we are well prepared to resume operations as soon as we can.”
“At HEINEKEN Malaysia, we have been implementing a rigorous process to proactively screen for and prevent the spread of Covid-19 at the workplace. Besides fully complying with all required SOPs by the Government, we test all on-site employees and contractors on a bi-weekly basis. Our operations are highly automated, thus requiring only a minimal number of workers to handle systems and machines on our a 23.72-acre site and allowing physical distancing of at least 10 metres between operators. With no visitors allowed to our brewery and our office staff all working from home, we have effectively created a workplace bubble comprised of essential workers who are critical for production operations only. This method has ensured zero workplace clusters, so with the added protection of 100% vaccinations, we are confident that we can operate safely,” Roland added.
HEINEKEN Malaysia is continuing its efforts to engage the Government on allowing brewers to resume operations, albeit at a scaled down level if necessary. According to the Confederation of Malaysian Brewers Berhad (CMBB), the impact of shutting down brewers is estimated to be at least RM 200 million per month. In 2020, brewers contributed more than RM2 billion in taxes to the Government. However, under the current situation, no revenue can be generated for the Government.
Roland commented, “We are ready to support the Government on accelerating Malaysia’s recovery. With the economy and livelihoods at stake, we are prepared to help lessen the burden and inject much needed income to support the Government’s revenue collection. Our impact also goes beyond direct tax contributions but through the supply, distribution, and retail of our products through over 35,000 local businesses in Malaysia. In a time when businesses in the food and beverage industry are struggling to survive, it is crucial that we ensure uninterrupted supply of products to the market to prevent any sudden shortages.”
“Unfortunately, the curtailing of distribution of products deemed as non-essential by the authorities mean that finished goods stored in external warehouse are not allowed to be delivered to replenish depleting stock levels at retail outlets which are allowed to open, including supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. We recommend that the distribution of finished goods be allowed, especially when the taxes on such products have already been paid in full to the Government. With breweries unable to operate and distribution not allowed, the market is expected to be depleted of stocks in the next three weeks. We are concerned that consumers may turn to illicit products that may be harmful to health. Ensuring the availability of legitimate duty-paid products in the market will prevent this from happening,” Roland added.