Malaysia has imposed additional restrictions for its Movement Control Order (MCO), including requiring more employees to work from home. Senior Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said 80 percent of all workers in the public sector and 40 percent of workers in the private sector will now be required to work from home. This means 8 million fewer workers will be commuting to work every day. The added that public transport will also be operating at 50 percent capacity. “Our strategy is to reduce movement of people by reducing the number of people working in officers … and to limit operating hours of the economic sector,” said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri. The measures take effect on 25 May and will be enforced nationwide.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said one million people could be jobless if the government had implemented a total lockdown similar to the first one in March last year. “The average household has four members, which means up to four million more dependents could be affected if (a million) people lose their jobs,” he told a news conference in Petaling Jaya.
In a related development, the Malaysia Employers Federation (MEF) has welcomed the government’s decision to impose tighter SOPs instead of a nationwide total lockdown. The MEF said that private sector employers were relieved with this decision particularly when the government has to carefully consider the views of the industry despite the pressure from the medical personnel. “The rising number of Covid-19 infections is a cause for serious concern and the government has decided wisely in terms of striking this delicate balance between the saving of lives and saving livelihoods. “The decision not to implement a full lockdown would allow employers to continue to resuscitate their businesses during this very challenging period, and pave the way for a full economic recovery. “The safety and health of the people is sacred and must be prioritised,” president Datuk Syed Hussain Syed Husman said in a statement today.