Learning & Development Asia 2024
Malaysia enters state of emergency till 1 Aug 2021, following reinstatement of MCOs

Malaysia enters state of emergency till 1 Aug 2021, following reinstatement of MCOs

This comes in line with the re-imposing of the MCO starting 13 January 2021, following a surge in COVID-19 cases and 'tremendous' pressure on the country's healthcare system.

Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah has declared a state of emergency across the country, in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement today (Tuesday, 12 January 2021), the King said this state of  emergency will last until 1 August 2021, or earlier, depending on the state of infections.

The move by the King came after a meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the COVID-19 situation in the country. The statement added: "It should be emphasised here that His Majesty is concerned about the personal safety of the people, especially at this time the people in some states are still facing floods. His Majesty expressed concern over the effects of the flood disaster and the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in the country. If not curbed and controlled effectively, then it will be detrimental to the health of the people and the well-being of the country.

"His Majesty also called on the people to be disciplined in complying with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and all orders set by the Government and relevant Government agencies during the implementation of the emergency and the Movement Control Order (MCO, or PKP). In this regard, Al-Sultan Abdullah advised the people to remain calm and resilient in the face of the implementation of this emergency and the Movement Protocol Order for security and common interests."

In a live address to the nation on Monday (11 January), PM Muhyiddin announced that Malaysia will undergo another round of the MCO/PKP in six states, lasting two weeks from 13 January (Wednesday) to 26 January 2021 (Tuesday).

These states are namely the Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan), Johor, Melaka, Selangor, Penang and Sabah. According to the PM, these states were assessed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to be high-risk states. At the same time, the level of capacity of health services in these areas have almost reached their maximum capacity. The MOH will thus make a continuous risk assessment to decide whether to end or continue the MCO/PKP before the end of the two weeks.

Apart from the above, PM Muhyiddin also announced the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO, or PKPB) and Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO, or PKPP) in selected states for the same period, as follows:

  • CMCO/PKPB in Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu, and Kelantan. 
  • RMCO/PKPP in Perlis and Sarawak.

The PM noted that the Government had come to the above decisions in light of the 'alarming' COVID-19 situation in the country, following a sudden spike in cases and patients which have increased demands on the healthcare system.

"Our healthcare system is under tremendous pressure now than at any other time since the start of the pandemic. As I have said before, unprecedented situations call for unprecedented measures."

"Therefore, based on the risk assessment by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, the National Security Council (NSC) and various Ministries and Agencies as well as the advice of public health experts in the country, the Government agrees with the view that firm action should be taken to sever the virus, COVID-19."

SOPs and rules to note during the MCO/PKP, CMCO/PKPB, RMCO/PKPP

Social activities and movement across states and districts

To reduce the risk of infection and break the COVID-19 chain, social activities involving mass gatherings such as weddings, conferences, religious parades including Thaipusam, meetings, seminars, courses and group sports are not allowed at all.

However, social activities are allowed for states under the CMCO/PKPP, subject to strict SOP compliance. Cross-state movement is not allowed throughout the country while for MCO/PKP areas, cross-district movement is also not allowed.

Following the ban on movement across these states and districts, the roadblock operation will take effect at 12.01am on Wednesday, 13 January 2021. For states under MCO/PKP, movement is limited to a 10km radius only.

For the purpose of purchasing necessities from a nearby supermarket or grocery store, only two members of the household are allowed to get out and be in the same vehicle. Any individual who violates this prohibition can be fined a maximum of RM1,000.

Five sectors that are allowed to operate as 'essential' economic sectors

The Government has identified five sectors that are allowed to operate as essential economic sectors during the two weeks, namely manufacturing, construction, services, trade and distribution, and plantation and commodities

These sectors, PM Muhyiddin stated, are allowed to operate due to their roles in supporting the supply of basic necessities such as food, beverages, household items, personal protection equipment, medical devices, international trade activities  and more.

However, only 30% of employees in the management group are allowed to be in the office while for employees in the support group, the number of employees required at one time will be determined by their respective employers.

"I would like to remind you that the specified number of employees must take into account the strict compliance of the prescribed SOP. Avoid direct physical contact while at work. Any employer who violates the SOP and causes the spread of COVID-19 infection in the workplace, strict action will be taken based on the law including closing the premises."

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) will detail the types of services listed as essential economic sector. The MITI and the Ministry of Human Resources will also detail the construction work allowed to operate.

For sectors or services that are not listed as essential services, work-from-home or work from home instruction will take effect. All employers must adhere to these instructions to reduce movement within the community, especially in high-density areas. "Only with this measure, we can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in the workplace," the PM highlighted.

More details in the speech here

[ALSO READ: Malaysia extends RMCO to 31 March 2021: SOPs to take note of

Photo / Screenshot of PM Muhyiddin's announcement, PMO website

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