Malaysia Analytical Update - Movement Control Order Extended to April 14: March 25, 2020

Malaysia Analytical Update | March 25, 2020
Authors: Kim Yaeger, Tina Jamaluddin, Emma Tabatabai 

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that the Movement Control Order (MCO) has been extended for another two weeks -- until April 14.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin stated the extension was due to a rise in new Covid-19 cases and indicated it may continue until the rise in cases declines. In the past week 673 new cases were reported, bringing Malaysia's total to 1,796 cases.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has announced that companies that have received approval to produce essential goods and services can continue operations throughout the extended MCO. Their approval remains valid and no new applications are needed. Approvals for companies keeping their machines in warm idle are also extended.

MITI closed their application process for new or appeal applications on March 24 at midnight. The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has also closed their application process which was focused on suppliers of essential goods. Both application processes were closed in order to address the backlog of applications. Companies who have missed either application process can apply/appeal through a newly created Special Committee headed by the Minister of International Trade and Investment and includes the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries. There is no prescribed application process for the Special Committee.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has clarified that during the extended MCO, employers providing essential goods/services must issue a letter authorizing their on-duty employees to present to authorities if they are stopped while commuting to the premises. They have reemphasized that deliveries of non-essential items during the extended MCO are not permitted.

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced that work-pass holders planning to enter Singapore from Malaysia must first obtain approval and will be placed on a mandatory 14-day self-imposed quarantine upon their arrival. Individuals transporting essential goods and services via land or sea ports are exempted from both the entry approval and quarantine requirements.

MOM has also stated that the government will not extend temporary housing past March 31 despite the extension of Malaysia's MCO. Employers are being encouraged to find longer-term accommodation for their Malaysian workers in Singapore. Those applying to enter Singapore must confirm that they have secured housing before entry. Singapore's Ministry of Manpower's form for foreign workers or dependents to enter Singapore can be found here.

The Council will continue to track developments and keep members informed.