Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus in December 2019 and outbreak continues to spread throughout the world, anyone can get this illness and the results can be serious.
Due to the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases infection in Malaysia rised in first half March, in order to reduce the spread of the pandemic, and the growth of positive cases, the government had imposed a 14-day Movement Control Order (MCO) from 18 to 31 March nationwide to curb the spread of the Covid-19 infection in Malaysia.
The Movement Control Order was imposed under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and well as the Police Act 1967, which cover a range of activities.
YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Prime Minister announced the MCO on 16 March, Monday night, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the order entailed a ban on all mass gatherings for religious, sport, social and cultural activities. All kindergartens, schools, colleges and universities should be closed during this period. In addition, all government and private business premises should be closed, with the exception of supermarkets, public markets, sundry and convenience shops which sell daily essentials as well as other country’s essential services including water, electricity, power, telecommunications, postal, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas, fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire, prison, port, airport, security, defence and cleaning .
Addition announcements during MCO period as follow:
A Press Release issued by the Registry of Society on 16 March 2020, announced that all associations are prohibited to conduct programmes / activities /conferences / assemblies / general meetings until 30 June 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) in a statement on 17 March 2020 announced that due to the submission of tax returns affected by the Movement Control Order, the last day to file the various income tax return forms had been extended by two months from the original deadline.
A Media Statement issued by the National Security Council (NSC), Prime Minister's Department on 18 March 2020, showed that the Government had given further approval to operate with certain terms and conditions to the relevant manufacturing industry , especially those that produce products defined as critical, with employee operations at minimal level and rotation of employees were implemented. The exemption is not automatic, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) had released the online e-form for the exemption approval process.
YB Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Senior Minister of Defence (Security Cluster) announced that Public and Private Sector personnels involved in essential services and productions during the Movement Control Order (MCO) peroid, required to show their Work Travel Pass (Approval of Movement) for verification. The personnels must carry the Work Travel Pass with them at all times along the way to avoid any confusion and problem at police roadblocks during the MCO peroid.
YB Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry announced that the second Industry Exemption Application Committee Meeting which allows critical service sectors in the manufacturing sector to operate during the MCO period also extended the allowance to the transport and logistic sectors.
Sarawak Government had announced a RM1.15 billion Stimulus Package to help the people in the state face the economic impact brought by the Covid-19 outbreak and restrictions during the Movement Control Order (MCO). Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg, the Chief Minister said there would be 16 initiatives under stimulus package named 'Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid Package'.
YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Prime Minister announced the MCO Phase 2 on 25 March 2020. The Movement Control Order (MCO) nationwide which was enforced from 18th March 2020 to 31st March 2020 due to the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 had been extended until 14th April 2020.
Following the announcement by YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Prime Minister on the extension of Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia, Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) informed the companies producing essential goods that the approval they had obtained from MITI remained valid until 14 April 2020. The same applies to companies that had received the approval to keep their factory machineries in ‘warm idle’ mode.
Bank Negara Malaysia announced the loan payment deferment for a period of six months. This deferment of payment was effective from April 2020 until September 2020. Postponement of loan payments was automatic and no need any application with banks.
The Sarawak Government had extended the Movement Control Order for two weeks to 14 April 2020 in accordance with the decision of Federal Government.
YAB Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Prime Minister unveiled the RM250 billion Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) on 27 March 2020. The objective of PRIHATIN was protecting the people, supporting businesses and strengthening the economy to weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of Movement Control Order.
The Ministry of Human Resources, through the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) implemented Wage Subsidy Programme for employees in the private sector whose employers were affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 outbreak, as announced by the Prime Minister through the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) on 27 March 2020 .
YB Datuk Seri M Saravanan, the Ministry of Human Resources announced on 29 March that the Government granted and allowed Human Resource / Finance personnel to return to office for 1 day, either on 31/3/2020 (Tuesday) or 1/4/2020 (Wednesday) to prepare payroll for employees. The personnels must carry the authorisation letter (Surat Pelepasan) with them at all times for ease of movement when they were stopped by enforcement authorities along the way.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan announced on 31 March that HRDF registered employers from 63 sub-sectors within three key economic sectors ( manufacturing, services, mining) are exempted from paying the mandatory Human Resources Development (HRD) levy for six months from 15 April 2020 to 15 September 2020. No application for the exemption is required as all HRDF registered employers automatically be exempted from paying the HRDF levy.