The government is continuing to make drastic changes to the second movement control order, despite this being the first day of the renewed stay-at-home ruling. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) today released an updated list of economic sectors allowed to remain open, specifically mentioning that automotive manufacturing and assembly plants have been disallowed.

That’s quite a U-turn from 24 hours ago, during which the ministry gave the green light to these facilities alongside workshops and service centres (which are still allowed to operate, together with showrooms). We should point out, however, that the order is only in effect in six states – Selangor, Johor, Penang, Melaka, Sabah and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan – so factories in other areas can function as usual.

For example, Proton’s Shah Alam plant will be forced to close, but its Tanjung Malim facility in Perak can continue to operate – as can the Hicom plant in Pekan, Pahang, the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah, and the Naza plant in Gurun, Kedah. Honda’s Pegoh plant in Melaka will also be closed as part of the order.

Of course, these factories’ operations are subject to the availability of parts, as vendors within the MCO areas will also be closed during the two weeks from today to January 26.

The full movement control order (with some exceptions) was reinstated in Selangor, Johor, Penang, Melaka, Sabah and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, after a sharp increase in coronavirus cases. It bans interstate and inter-district travel in these areas and places significant restrictions on work and social activities. As usual, we implore everyone to follow the government’s SOPs and stay home.

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