In a statement, Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) president, Datuk Lim Kok Boon said Malaysia’s manufacturing sector has demonstrated the agility to expand its capacity further and adapt in a critical stage.
"We are proud to be able to prove ourselves and at the same time support the nation in our battle against this pandemic,” he said.
In April alone, where COVID-19 virus infections were at the peak, the number of key PPEs required was about three million pieces, including isolation gowns, boot covers, jumpsuits, head covers, face shields and aprons.
It said most of these key PPEs are made of non-woven material made and require secondary processes such as cutting, sewing and lamination or coating, which is a crucial protective step in ensuring the non-woven materials are liquid repellant for certain applications.
MPMA member, Fibertex Personal Care Sdn Bhd, which has been made the principal supplier of non-woven materials, would allocate 10 million square metres a month for PPEs.
Another member, San Miguel Yamamura Woven Products Sdn Bhd would allocate coating capacity for 3.5 million square metres a month.
"These capacities are sufficient to produce five million pieces of PPEs for the Health Ministry as well as other private healthcare institutions in Malaysia," it said.
All non-woven materials, both coated and uncoated, would then be handed to members of the Federation of Malaysian Fashion and Textile Association (FMFTA) for cutting and sewing.
FMFTA president, Datuk Seri Tan Thian Poh said since the industries are now able to meet the country’s needs in the supply of the identified PPEs, that is, isolation gowns, jumpsuits, head overs, boot covers and shoe covers, the industries are working together to explore the export market.
“We are confident that we should be able to export as we have already received enquiries in this regard,” he added.