Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
3 things employers should note about Malaysia's total lockdown (PKP Fasa) from 1 June 2021

3 things employers should note about Malaysia's total lockdown (PKP Fasa) from 1 June 2021

With the lockdown to take place in three phases, here are the key details on the 17 sectors allowed to operate currently, and in each phase, relevant workforce capacities allowed in office, and more.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced on Friday (28 May 2021), that the nation will undergo a total lockdown (PKP Fasa) starting tomorrow, 1 June 2021 (Tuesday).

Phase One of the nationwide lockdown, which will be in effect from 1 to 14 June, will mean a full closure of social and economic sectors, and only essential economic and services sectors listed by the National Security Council will be allowed to operate.

In his Facebook post, PM Muhyiddin said: "This decision was made after taking into account the current situation of COVID-19 transmission in Malaysia with the number of daily cases having exceeded 8,000 cases and active cases exceeding 70,000 cases. To date, a total of 2,552 people have died as a result of the outbreak and the death toll is rising. The existence of more violent new variants with high and rapid infectious rates also influenced today’s results.

"With the increase in daily cases showing a more dramatic upward trend since recently, the capacity of hospitals nationwide to treat COVID-19 patients is also increasingly limited."

In line with this, here are three things for employers to note about the total lockdown (PKP Fasa):

#1 The lockdown will take place in three phrases, depending on MOH's risk assessments

As stated by PM Muhyiddin, the lockdown will take place in three phases.

  • Phase One will run from 1 to 14 June 2021, where only selected essential sectors will be allowed to operate (listed below).
  • Depending on the Ministry of Health's (MOH) risk assessment, the Government will then implement Phase Two for a period of four weeks once Phase One ends. During this phase, the Government will allow the reopening of some economic sectors that do not involve large gatherings and can subject to physical distancing.
  • Phase Three will involve the Movement Control Order that is currently in force prior to 1 June, where social activities are not allowed and almost all economic sectors are allowed to operate, subject to strict SOPs and restrictions on employee presence in the office.

#2 17 essential sectors allowed to operate in Phase One:  Transportation, construction, and more

Following the PM's announcement, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob shared a list of 17 essential sectors that will be allowed to operate in Phase One:

  1. Food and beverages including for animals
  2. Health and medical care including dietary supplements, care and animal clinics and veterinary services
  3. Water
  4. Energy
  5. Security and safety, defence, emergency, welfare and humanitarian assistance
  6. Solid waste management and public cleaning and sewerage
  7. Transportation by land, water or air
  8. Services and port, shipyard and airport operations, including loading, light transport, cargo handling and piloting, and storage or shipping of commodities
  9. Communications including media, telecommunications and internet, postal and courier and broadcasting (for the purpose of conveying information, news and the likes only)
  10. Banking, insurance, takaful and capital markets
  11. Community credit (pawnshop and Ar-rahnu)
  12. E-commerce and information technology
  13. Production, distillation, storage, supply and distribution of fuels and lubricants
  14. Hotels and accommodation (only for quarantine purposes, segregation, employment for essential services and not tourism purposes)
  15. Construction, maintenance and critical repair
  16. Forestry services (limited to enforcement) and wildlife
  17. Logistics limited to delivery of necessary services

The Minister added that all manufacturing sectors are also not allowed to operate, except services by sector as follows:


  1. Aerospace (components and maintenance, repair and overhaul - MRO)
  2. Food and beverages
  3. Packaging and printing materials only related to food and health
  4. Goods and personal care, and detergents
  5. Healthcare and medical products including dietary supplements
  6. Personal care items, personal protective equipment (PPE) including rubber gloves and fire safety equipment
  7. Components for medical devices
  8. Electrical and Electronics (importance of the global economic chain)
  9. Oil and gas (Oil and Gas) including petrochemicals and petrochemical products
  10. Machinery and equipment related to health and food only
  11. Textiles for the production of PPE only
  12. Production, distillation, storage, supply and distribution of fuels and lubricants

The allowed working capacity is 60% of employees.

Agriculture, fisheries, livestock, plantation and commodities

  1. Agriculture, fisheries and livestock and their chains (e.g. shops selling fertilisers and pesticides/oil palm fruit processing factories are allowed to operate)
  2. Plantations and commodities and their chains (oil palm, rubber, pepper and cocoa)


  1. Critical maintenance and repair works
  2. Major public infrastructure construction works
  3. Building construction works that provide complete accommodation of workers on construction sites or workers housed in Centralised Workers Quarters (CLQ).

The allowed working capacity is optimal, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri stated.

Trade and distribution

  1. Shopping complexes are closed except for premises, supermarkets, hypermarkets and department stores that have food and beverage sections, basic necessities, pharmacies, personal care, convenience stores, mini marts and restaurants for take-away and delivery to the house.
  2. Supermarkets, hypermarkets, pharmacies, personal care, convenience stores, mini marts and grocery stores as well as department stores are open, restricted to the food, beverage and basic necessities section only.
  3. Restaurants, stalls and food outlets
  4. Laundry (including self-service)
  5. Pet care and pet food shop
  6. Eyeglass and optical goods shop
  7. Hardware store
  8. Vehicle workshop, maintenance and spare parts
  9. E-commerce (all product categories)
  10. Wholesale and distribution (all necessary service product categories only)

All these business sectors are only allowed to operate from 8.00am to 8.00pm.

In line with the above, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI ) also noted the following sectors that are allowed to operate, but only with 10% of the workforce ("warm idle" mode) allowed:

  1. Automotive (vehicles and components)
  2. Iron and steel
  3. Cement
  4. Glass
  5. Ceramics

These sectors which are allowed to operate must note the following instructions by MITI:

Effective Sunday, 30 May 2021, 8.00pm, manufacturing companies that have already registered with the COVID-19 Intelligence Management System (CIMS) 3.0 are required to download the new MITI approval letter and, where necessary, update their workers' list.

For manufacturing companies that have yet to register, submission can be made beginning Monday, 31 May 2021, 1.00 pm. Details on how to register can be found on MITI's website.

"In addition, workers in the manufacturing and MRS sectors will be required to present MITI's approval letter, together with their company-issued letter of employment or staff identification card, to the enforcement authorities to enable their movement to and from their work premises. The current SOPs on workforce capacity remains at 60%. Manufacturers in sectors allowed only for warm idle mode are also required to download the MITI approval letter via CIMS 3.0, subject to a maximum workforce capacity of 10%.

"Manufacturing and MRS sectors that are allowed to operate must ensure strict adherence to the SOPs by MKN and MITI. Failure to comply with the SOPs is a serious offence and may result in fines and/or closure of premises. To ensure effective compliance with the SOPs, comprehensive and stringent enforcement will be carried out by Federal and State enforcement agencies."

#3 Updated nationwide SOPs for 1 to 14 June 2021

In his statement, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri also noted the key updated SOPs to adhere to during Phase One, as follows:

  • Only two household representatives are allowed to go out to get food supplies, medicine, dietary supplements and basic necessities. A maximum of three persons, including patients, are allowed out to seek health care, medical, screening, safety or emergency services within a radius not exceeding 10KM from the residence or to the nearest place of residence if the health or medical services are not within a radius of 10KM from the residence.
  • The number of passengers in taxis and e-hailing rides is limited to two people including the driver, and passengers are required to sit in the rear passenger seat.
  • Sea and land public transport services such as employee transport, stop buses, express buses, LRT, MRT, ERL, Monorails, ferries and other public transport are allowed to operate based on 50% vehicle capacity (operating hours and frequencies subject to the Ministry of Transport ), except aircraft.
  • Attendance capacity for Civil Service personnel is limited to 20% for necessary duties (excluding frontliners, security and defence personnel) and 100% working from home (BDR) for non-essential services; while the capacity of employee attendance for the private sector in essential services, including operations and management staff, is limited to 60%.
  • In general, all service-related economic sectors should be able to operate from 8.00am to 8.00pm except:
    • Daily markets: 6.00am to 2.00pm
    • Controlled fresh markets: 7.00am to 12.00 noon.
    • Permanent farmers' markets, MyFarm outlets (MFO) and Area Farmers Organisation Complex (PPK): 6.00am to 4.00pm.
    • Wholesale markets: 12.01am to 6.00am, and 11.00am to 4.00pm
    • Petrol stations: 6.00am to 8.00pm, except petrol stations on the highways which can operate for up to 24 hours.
  • Kindergartens, private kindergartens, international and expatriate schools as well as mind development centres for children aged four to six years are not allowed to operate, except for frontliners and parents who are both working.
  • Prayer activities are limited to a maximum of 12 mosque and surau committee members only. Other activities are not allowed.
  • Islamic wedding ceremonies (akad nikah) are allowed only at the Islamic Religious Office/Department with the presence in accordance with the ruling of the State Religious Authority.
  • Non-Muslim House of Worship activities are limited to a maximum of 12 Non-Muslim House of Worship Committee members only and the presence of worshippers is not allowed.
  • Sports and recreational activities performed individually in open areas without physical contact must be restricted to jogging and exercise, by adhering to a physical distance of at least two to three metres and performed in the neighbourhood, subject to movement control instructions currently in force.

Photo / National Security Council's Facebook page 

Human Resources Online is on Telegram! Follow us @humanresourcesonline or click here for all the latest weekly HR and manpower news from around the region.  

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window