The ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) has announced that economic sectors that have been allowed to operate at during phase one, two and three of the movement control order (MCO) has been given the green light to fully increase their operating capacity from tomorrow, April 29.

Besides the 100% workforce allowance, these companies are also permitted to operate without restriction to their operating hours, based on their industry’s needs. Companies that have been approved to operate will not need to apply to MITI for permission to increase the number of workers or for clearance to operate beyond a certain time, the ministry said in a statement.

However, it said that all companies in these authorised sectors must comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) requirements that have been set for their respective sectors. It added that failure to comply with the SOP will result in termination of the operation and immediate legal action.

It said that business owners will need to adhere to the parameters of the ‘new normal’, which is to follow social distancing rules in the workplace and health control guidelines.

The move was decided during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting today, based on the recommendations by the Economic Action Council (EAC), which held its own meeting yesterday. The EAC meeting reviewed the research and recommendations presented by the finance ministry, MITI, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and sovereign wealth fund Khazanah. The health ministry also presented its views and feedback on the matter.

The discussion focused on the need to restart and revive the overall economic supply chain that will help businesses continue to operate fully, rebuild affected stocks and enable efficient delivery of services and goods to customers. According to MITI, it is hoped that the initiative will facilitate the revitalisation of the supply chain of goods and services to meet both domestic and foreign demands.

On April 10, the government announced that it would allow additional businesses in selected economic sectors to resume operations during the MCO, in a move aimed at slowly reopening some aspects of the economy. For the automotive industry, this has been limited to the export of CBU vehicles as well as that of tools and components. Also permitted was the resumption of after-sales service, be it in the form of workshops or authorised service centres.