By S BIRRUNTHA
THE official International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) website crashed yesterday, as selected businesses submit their applications to operate during the third phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
In a statement, the ministry said since the application period opened at 9am yesterday, traffic flow to the MITI portal saw a sharp increase to 176,000 users in the first two hours.
However, most of these visitors were not companies but individuals accessing the portal.
“This high number of visitors is not consistent with the number of companies in the sectors approved.
“Therefore, MITI will reconfigure the application system to ensure that only companies in the sectors that have received approval to operate will be able to access the application system,” it said.
The ministry also suspended its application system at 2pm yesterday and advised users to return at 4pm to submit their applications.
MITI’s Twitter page was also flooded yesterday morning, as bemused users complained that they could not access the official website.
Last Friday, the government released a new list of industries allowed to operate, after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the MCO would be extended for another two weeks.
Among the additional sectors allowed to operate within the standard operating procedure are automotive (complete built-up models, equipment, components and after-sale services), hardware, electrical and electronic stores, optometrists, machinery and equipment, and aerospace.
Other sectors such as barbers (for haircuts only) and full-service (not self-service) laundry are also given the green light to operate during the extended MCO.
However, the government reversed the green light for barbers, beauty salons and optometrists after receiving feedback from various parties, including the public.
According to MITI, only selected additional economic sectors will be allowed to operate during the MCO period, subject to health and safety protocols.
The ministry said in its frequently asked questions (FAQs) statement that the processing of applications will take up to five days.
“If an application is successful, a letter of approval will be auto-generated by Covid-19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS) 2.0,” it said.
MITI also advised that companies are encouraged to check the status of their application in the system from time to time.