Next two weeks crucial for Malaysia – OCBC Bank

by BERNAMA / graphic by MZUKRI

THE next two weeks will be crunch time for Malaysia as it implements the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya and Sabah, OCBC Bank said.

In a research note today, it said the CMCO is enforced in the respective states from Oct 14-27 (Oct 13-26 in Sabah) to flatten the COVID-19 pandemic curve for Malaysia once again.

This is expected to allow the growth momentum to remain on the uptick and to let Bank Negara Malaysia to hold the Overnight Policy Rate at its next Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Nov 3, it said.

“Still, whatever the official guidelines may be, Malaysians may shy away from crowds on contagion fear once again anyway, hitting consumer spending,” it said.

Coming at a time when the loan moratorium has expired and households needing to service their mortgages and car loans once more, OCBC Bank said the CMCO would add pressure on economic recovery in the fourth quarter.

“The silver lining is that, unlike during the Movement Control Order (MCO) that Malaysia suffered in March-April, broad economic activities are allowed to operate during this CMCO period, albeit with social distancing restrictions in place.

“Factories can still run their productions and shopping malls can still open for business, for instance,” it said.