COVID-19 Archive

  • MCO 2.0: Full vehicle seating capacity now permitted

    The Malaysian government has announced through the national security council (MKN) that the number of occupants per vehicle is now permitted up to the seating capacity of the vehicle, effectively lifting the two-per-car occupancy limit put in place in January for the recent implementation of the movement control order (MCO). This will take effect from Friday, February 19, 2021.

    “We have allowed those living under MCO some flexibility after hearing public appeals,” senior minister (security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in his briefing today. On Tuesday (February 16), the current MCO for Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor was extended until March 4, while Putrajaya is now under CMCO, and not the MCO that Kuala Lumpur is subject to.

    The 10 km radius limit has also been lifted, though inter-district and inter-state travel is still banned. According to Ismail Sabri, the 10 km radius limit is no longer relevant as many businesses have already been allowed to open.

    In addition to seating capacity, the government has now also relaxed the two-per-table seating limit for dine-in patronage of food and beverage outlets, now subject to the size of the table and with one-metre physical distancing between patrons as well as between tables stipulated.

    As before, the increased permissible seating capacities are applicable within one’s own area. In any case, do continue to only travel when necessary, and maintain the best possible hygiene practices. Stay safe.

     
     
  • MCO extended in KL, Selangor, Penang, Johor till March 4 – no more 10 km distance rule in MCO areas

    The current movement control order (MCO), which was to end on February 18, has been extended for KL, Selangor, Penang and Johor. The MCO will now be until March 4 for these states.

    The rest of Malaysia, except for Perlis, is now under the conditional movement control order (CMCO). Perlis, which is clear of Covid, will be under the recovery movement control order (RMCO). Note that Putrajaya is now under CMCO, and not the MCO of WP KL. All the standard operating procedures will be similar to the previous CMCO/RMCO. This was just announced by senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in his daily press conference.

    The defence minister also announced that the 10 km radius rule in MCO areas will be lifted. Yes, you can now travel further than 10 km from your residence; however, bear in mind that the ban on crossing districts and state borders is still in place. According to Ismail Sabri, the 10 km radius rule is no longer relevant as many businesses have already been allowed to open.

    So it’s further, but still within your area. In any case, if there’s no strong reason to wander far, do continue to do the essentials nearby. Stay safe.

     
     
  • MCO 2.0: Driving schools allowed to resume operation, motorsports activity permitted again, with tight SOPs

    The government has announced the resumption of more activities during the second movement control order (MCO), which is currently in place until February 18. Driving institutes will be allowed to start operations starting from tomorrow, February 12, and motorsports activities involving both two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles are also being permitted to resume.

    Senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision to allow the reopening of driving schools was made after the transport ministry made a presentation on the matter. He said that driving schools will be allowed to operate from 7.30am to 8.30pm, and will be able to carry out driving curriculum classes, the pre-driving test as well as theory and practical exams.

    All driving schools will be required to ensure that standard operating procedures (SOP) are followed strictly by personnel as well as student drivers. These include the mandatory use of face masks by the driving instructor as well as the learner driver the entire time in the car. Schools are also required to ensure that their students are only present for their respective learning/test sessions and are not allowed to wait around.

    The reopening of driving schools and allowing motorsports activities to resume follows on last week’s decision to allow car wash centres to operate again. Earlier this week, the government also allowed auto accessories shops to resume business.

     
     
  • Do not misuse authorisation letters to cross districts or states for holiday or to visit family, warns police

    The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will tighten the issuance of travel permits by conducting thorough checks to ensure individuals are truthful when applying for permission to cross districts or states. Additionally, it is warning individuals not to abuse authorisation letters provided to them by their employers in order to go on an outstation holiday or visit relatives beyond the travel limit rule, especially during the long Chinese New Year break.

    Bukit Aman deputy director of internal security and public order DCP Datuk Kasuahdi Ali told Berita Harian and The Star that travel permit applications will be properly vetted at the station level before any approval is given. He added that the police have received many travel permit applications from individuals, although a lot of them were rejected because the real reason was to meet family members.

    As per the government’s CNY standard operating procedures (SOPs), reunion dinners are allowed on February 11, but limited to 15 family members living within a radius of 10 km from each other, with no interstate or inter-district travel allowed.

    Besides the reunion dinner allowance, any gatherings, open houses or house visits are still prohibited. However, temple visitations are allowed on February 11, 12 and 19, with a maximum capacity of 30 pax at one time and each visit is limited to only 30 minutes, from 6am to 2pm.

    Aside from setting up roadblocks, the police will also initiate Op Limau, which will see the mobilisation of a special team to ensure the public adheres to the SOPs.

     
     
  • MCO 2.0: Auto accessories shops can operate again

    Well, the posts have shifted again. The government has announced that more businesses will be allowed to open during the reimplemented movement control order (MCO) as of tomorrow, February 10, and auto accessories shops are among them, although in truth many of these have been open for a while now, at least in KL and Petaling Jaya.

    The decision will of course be welcome news to auto accessories operators providing window tint installation services in Perak, which earlier this week voiced their displeasure over not being allowed to run their businesses while their counterparts in other states had been allowed to do so.

    The announcement of the reopening of more businesses in the retail sector was made earlier this evening by senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who said that the decision was made in the interests of economic continuity, and to ensure businesses could survive. As always, everyone will have to adhere to strict standard operating procedures (SOPs).

    The latest move, which opens up retail businesses such as clothing stores, shoe shops, toy stores and sports equipment outlets, follows on last week’s decision to allow night markets, barber shops and car wash centres to operate again. From tomorrow, dine-in at restaurants and food outlets will also be permitted, but limited to two people per table.

     
     
  • Uncertain about various MCO SOPs? You’re not alone, because the police sometimes are too, admits top cop

    If you’re befuddled over what is permissible and what is not in the ever-changing standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the current movement control order (MCO), you’re not alone. Even the people enforcing it are, it seems – the rapidly evolving SOPs have left quite a number of policemen confused over their enforcement, the Malay Mail reports.

    This, according to Bukit Aman department of internal security and public order (JKDNKA) director Datuk Seri Abd Rahim Jaafar, was natural, given the scale of the enforcement activity. He said that with around 100,000 police personnel as well as enforcers from other agencies about, there are bound to be varying interpretations of the SOPs as well as with the application of the law.

    “We can’t deny that when everyone has a different understanding of the law, there are bound to be issues. We are in the process of educating our officers regarding the SOPs during this MCO,” he told Malay weekly Mingguan Malaysia, which published the original report.

    “Even during normal communication, when we pass the information from person to person, by the time it reaches the 10th individual, the message may have varied. Try to imagine passing information to 100,000 officers nationwide, and there are bound to be issues,” he was quoted as saying.

    This has of course led to dissatisfaction from members of the public issued compound notices as a result of what is interpreted as wrong. “We are trying to mend this situation, but while we’re at it, new SOPs are added,” he said.

    However, he said that because authorities are now more aware of the situation, there has been a reduction in questionable compound notices being issued, and added that authorities were putting new checks in place to ensure that no one is fined wrongly.

    “In the future before any enforcement authority goes out to work, we will brief and debrief them and upon return from duty, we will check the compound they issued and validate if it was indeed a violation of an SOP,” he explained.

    However, Abd Rahim added that “the law that states you should not go out unless you have a valid reason still stands.” So, unless you have a truly valid reason to be out and about, the best move – as always – is to stay put.

     
     
  • MCO extension will help protect the auto industry as it continues to recover – Perodua Suppliers Association

    Some quarters may not be too chuffed about the reimplemented movement control order (MCO) having been extended, but the Perodua Suppliers Association (P2SA) isn’t one of them. The association believes that the move to extend the order – which is in effect until February 18 – will help protect the automotive industry as it continues to recover, Bernama reports.

    According to its president Musa Zahidin Ahmad Zaidee, while the Covid-19 situation remains a concern for its 129 members, the MCO is expected to manage the situation until vaccinations begin. “Our main objective is to keep everyone safe and, at the same time, protect our livelihood. The only way to achieve that is to work with the government to lower the number of Covid-19 cases, especially in industrialised areas,” he said.

    “Most of our members are located in Selangor, but by following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid out by the government and by effectively communicating between our members and original equipment manufacturers, we believe we will be able to perform better this year,” he added.

    He said that P2SA and Perodua have been working together to create SOPs for its entire automotive ecosystem. “The SOPs include stringent safety procedures at the workplace, proper hostels that offer safe living conditions for employees and rotating Covid-19 tests for all employees,” he explained.

     
     
  • In-car dining allowed in PJ for now – police chief

    Petaling Jaya folk can consume their food and beverage in their vehicles as long as they abide by the limit of two persons per vehicle for MCO 2.0, said police chief Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal in a radio interview with Kool FM. This follows news that food establishments have been serving customers ‘dine-in’ style within their own vehicles, complete with trays and cutlery.

    There is no violation of currently enforced SOP this way as there is no specific rule against dining in a vehicle in his jurisdiction, whether in the manner of conventional takeaway packaging or the aforementioned method of serving diners, said Nik Ezanee, however the police will have to enforce any new ruling if they are announced by the national security council (MKN).

    While eating in the car isn’t necessarily against the law at present, we don’t recommend that you do this, and instead limit movement where possible. We have seen reports of people getting fined for ‘loitering’ when sitting in their parked vehicle, so that situation could also apply here if the police decide that eating and drinking in one’s stationary vehicle is one more area to be enforced under that aspect.

    Beyond the technicalities of MCO rules, dining in a vehicle presents other challenges as well. Most may not realise this, but the interior of a car is especially susceptible to harbouring germs, and the steering wheel is a particular hot spot. One could, theoretically, conduct a thorough clean of surfaces before and after, though a car’s cabin is far more cramped than a typical in-home living space, and therefore not practical.

    Also, given our climate, occupants sitting stationary in a vehicle for extended durations will still want air-conditioning, which means the engine has to remain running, unless one has a fully electric vehicle. Even so, that is energy spent on ancillaries instead of being on the move.

    Best to limit the consumption of food and beverage to one’s residences, then. So far, the PJ district appears to be doing well in keeping to regulations; according to the report, Petaling Jaya police chief Nik Ezanee also said that public compliance to the MCO in the district was at 99%.

     
     
  • MCO 2.0: Window tint installers in Perak say it’s unfair that the state KPDNHEP won’t allow them to operate

    Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we? That tune must surely be playing in the heads of auto accessory shop operators providing window tint installation services in Perak, who are crying foul for being ordered to close while their counterparts in other states are allowed to operate during the second movement control order (MCO), Bernama reports.

    They claimed that the state’s domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry (KPDNHEP) office had ordered their businesses to be shuttered due to the MCO restrictions, despite businesses categorised under the automotive industry having been given the approval to operate by the ministry of international trade and industry (MITI).

    State domestic trade and consumer affairs, national integration and civil society committee chairman Datuk Abdul Yunus Jamahri said that the operators have brought up the matter with him. “I will refer this problem to KPDNHEP and the national security council (MKN),” he said.

    Given that the government has been easing up on restrictions over the course of the reimplemented MCO, which has been extended to February 18, the matter should be resolved soon. Last Friday, it allowed night markets, barber shops and car wash centres to operate again, the decision to do so being made after considering that there had been no new clusters originating from them.

     
     
  • MCO 2.0: Car wash centres can operate from Feb 5

    Car wash centres will be allowed to operate again from tomorrow (February 5, 2021), during the reimplemented movement control order (MCO). This was announced by senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in his press briefing today, where he also said that night markets and barbershops will be allowed to open.

    According to Ismail Sabri, the decision to allow these businesses to reopen was made considering that there have been no new clusters originating from them. These businesses will be allowed to operate until 10pm during the MCO and must follow strict standard operating procedures (SOPs). Any business that fails to adhere to the SOPs or have a positive Covid-19 case will be asked to close immediately

    The MCO is currently in effect across almost the whole of Malaysia until February 18, with the exception of Sarawak, where the majority of state is placed under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) until February 14.

     
     
 

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Last Updated 20 Feb 2021