Malaysia extends its Movement Control Order (MCO)

MCO extended by four weeks to June 9, prohibiting interstate movement and large gatherings while many economic sectors start to open up.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin recently announced an extension of the MCO for Malaysia, prohibiting domestic and international travel and barring religious and other large gatherings among other measures.

The government will announce a further list of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) over the coming weeks that may allow some gatherings to take place and further businesses to open.

On May 1 the Prime Minister announced that, with appropriate health protocols in place, many economic sectors could reopen including restaurants with safe distancing measures in place. The Malaysian government estimates that close to half of the country’s workforce have returned to work and total losses due to the pandemic are estimated at RM63 billion.

The government has also rolled out three economic stimulus packages worth RM260 billion which include enhancements to its Wage Subsidy Programme among other measures.

Over the past month the number of new infections in Malaysia have come down significantly with mostly two-digit increases since mid-April. 94.4% of the country is classified as a Green Zone meaning that there have been no new infections for over two weeks.

The most hard-hit sectors have been those that require a physical presence, including hotels, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers etc. While restaurants have been allowed to open – with the necessary safe-distancing measures put in place – since May 4, business conditions will still be tough as will those for airlines given domestic and international travel bans.

For other business operations things will slowly get back to normal. The Inland Revenue Board has opened its counters again and, while there are some restrictions on access and services, it is possible to incorporate companies and conduct other matters in both Malaysia and Labuan. Furthermore, deadlines for AGMs and other mandatory meetings have been postponed by the government.

Alpadis Group Malaysia has continued to provide full services during the MCO period through remote working. The team have begun returning to the office on a rotational basis as of May 12, in line with government regulations and safety guidelines