Full steam ahead for certain sectors during MCO


THE government has agreed to fully open economic sectors that have been operating during the Movement Control Order (MCO), Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (picture) said.

Azmin, who is also in charge of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), said the move will address the current economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The government has agreed that economic sectors that have been allowed to operate during the MCO Phases 1, 2 and 3 to increase their capacity to operate fully and are allowed to operate without time constraints according to their industry needs,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Companies in the authorised sector must comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) requirements for their respective sectors and failure to do so will result in the termination of operations and immediate legal action.

He said companies that have been approved to operate will no longer need to apply to MITI for permission and the order goes into effect today.

Following Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement that Covid-19 cases have dropped significantly and the MCO has been extended till May 12, the government is studying ways to restore the economy gradually.

This includes the opening up of additional sectors and subsectors of the economy, subject to strict compliance with the requirements to ensure that the companies continue to operate while ensuring employees are in a safe environment.

Azmin said the Economic Action Council (EAC) held a meeting on Monday to discuss the country’s current economic and financial position, business continuity and people’s wellbeing.

“The meeting reviewed the research and recommendations presented by the Finance Ministry, MITI, Bank Negara Malaysia and National Treasury.

“The Health Ministry, represented by its minister and DG, also presented their views and feedback on the matter.”

He said the discussion focused on the need to restart and revive the overall economic supply chain that will help businesses continue to operate fully, rebuild affected stocks and enable efficient delivery of services and goods to customers.

The decision of the EAC meeting was tabled at the National Security Council meeting yesterday morning, chaired by the PM.

Azmin said the initiative will facilitate the revitalisation of the supply chain of goods and services to meet domestic and foreign demand, which will have a positive impact on the income of companies, especially small and medium enterprises.

“While the government provides this flexibility, citizens and business owners need to start the ‘new normal’ by adhering to social exclusion in the workplace, personal hygiene and health control guidelines,” he added.