In his Labour Day 2020 special message today, prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government will now implement the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), with almost all economic sectors and business activities allowed to resume operations starting Monday, 4 May. This is subject to terms and standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the authorities.
The prime minister said the move was made with strict guidelines from the Ministry of Health (MOH) which is based on the accumulated data and best practices by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With the COVID-19 wreaking havoc to the economy and people’s livelihoods, the government must balance the need to revive the country’s economy and at the same time curb the pandemic.
He said that the nation has suffered estimated losses of about MYR63 billion throughout the MCO period, with an estimated loss of MYR2.4 billion each day. If the MCO continues for another month, the government stands to lose a total of MYR98 billion.
Many have been severely affected financially and are eager to resume work and business again. If the MCO is prolonged, people will lose their incomes. Likewise, an economic standstill means putting a stop to the country’s income source, “Taxes cannot be collected, industries cannot grow, economic growth is hampered, and the thing we want to avoid the most—business closures and job losses,” said Muhyiddin.
Several categories of industries and business are still not allowed to operate, particularly those that involve gatherings and physical contact and where social distancing would be hard to enforce.
This includes cinemas, karaoke centres, reflexology centres, recreational centres, night clubs, theme parks, Ramadhan bazaars, sales carnivals as well as conferences and exhibitions.
The list of allowed businesses will be reviewed from time to time. The full list of businesses and activities which are not allowed to operate is available on the National Security Council website.
Businesses that can operate must follow strict standard operating procedures on the advice of the MOH. This includes social distancing, washing hands frequently, wearing face masks, reporting information on COVID-19 to the Health Department, and to prioritise the protection of vulnerable groups such as children, babies, senior citizens, and people with disabilities (OKU). Individuals who are not well should seek immediate medical treatment.
The prime minister encourages businesses to allow employees to work from home and implement alternative working days and staggered working hours. This is to avoid congestion at bus, LRT, MRT stations, and other public transport hubs.
Employees must be screened daily and office equipment must always be sanitised and clean. Employees are to avoid any form of body contact.
The government is also urging companies to allow for couples with young children to work from home, or on alternate days to reduce the number of children at day care centres.
For the public service sector which commences operations on 4 May, the government encourages civil servants to work from home except for business processes that require a physical presence. Online meetings are encouraged.
The prime minister reminds all employers and employees to comply with the Employment Act 1955, Companies Act 1966, and labour acts under the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR). The MOHR has released guidelines for implementation of full salary disbursement, paid medical leave and hospitalisation for employees under quarantine, alternative action on no-pay leave, as well as salary reduction with mutual agreement between employer and employee during the MCO. You can find the guidelines here.
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