Ekonomi SEMASA UTAMA

ADU@MEDAC Hotline to help Entrepreneurs Suffering from Mental and Emotional Distress – MEDAC

PUTRAJAYA 19 July 2021– The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) has set up a dedicated hotline service to assist entrepreneurs suffering from mental and emotional distress due to the prolonged lockdown.

Simply named ADU@MEDAC, this move is seen as a crucial support service by MEDAC and its agencies to address concerns on mental health issues that is becoming one of the biggest problems faced by entrepreneurs at the moment.

MEDAC Minister Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar explained because of the indefinite lockdown, many entrepreneurs are unable to operate their business for almost a year and many are now facing financial hardship.

He said the uncertainties about their financial situation as well as their future, as well as not being able to socialise, have taken a toll on the mental and emotional state of these business operators.

“At MEDAC, we are very concerned of their wellbeing. Aside from offering business assistance and incentives, we feel it is also important for us to help them on the emotional aspect as well. This is why we come up with ADU@MEDAC,” he said

The ADU@MEDAC hotline at 1-300-88-1020, operating from 9am to 9pm, will serve as a one stop centre for entrepreneurs who are in distress. Those who call for advice on business and financial related matters will be channelled to the respective agencies under MEDAC while those with mental related issues will be directed to respective agencies dealing with psycho-social issues such as Talian Kasih and the COVID-19 Psychosocial Support Helpline.

In doing this, the ministry will also be working closely with The National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), agency under Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, as well as Health Ministry.

Based on a survey conducted by MEDAC from June 15 to June 28, it is estimated that some 580,000 businesses, representing 49 per cent of the MSME sector in the country, are at risk of failing by October, if they are not allowed to open up their operations by then.

A total of 6,664 entrepreneurs from all over the country took part in the survey, of which 60 per cent of the respondents said they are suffering from at least one form of mental health condition during the lockdown.

The survey revealed that a large number of entrepreneurs that are suffering from this condition are those aged between 35 and 44 years old, involved in service-based businesses and have been operating their businesses for more than 10 years.

The survey, which aims to gauge the impact of the MCO 3.0 on the local entrepreneurship landscape, revealed that many businesses are now suffering ‘business fatigue’ syndrome and declining confidence as a result of lockdown.
About one third of the respondents said that they did not receive the various assistance introduce by the government.

Dr Wan Junaidi said the impact of the lockdown is not only affecting the economic aspect but also the social aspect as well. If this situation prolongs, it could bring about a long-term negative impact on the country’s socio-economic situation.

He said the government is very much aware that the people are suffering and is looking into ways to come up with a balanced solution to resolve this matter. Lockdown is no longer the solution to this.

“On the plus side, the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has principally agreed to allow businesses that does not contribute to the spread of COVID-19 to open up with stricter SOP. The Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob too has mentioned that he wants to meet me to discuss ways to help the MSME.

“I will be meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister soon to discuss more on this matter. MEDAC is always ready to assist the relevant authorities on how we could help revive the MSME sector.,” he added.