COVID-19 Archive

  • Indonesia to extend full luxury tax break for two-wheel drive cars below 1.5L engine capacity until August

    Indonesia is set to extend the luxury tax break for sedans and two-wheel drive cars with engine capacities below 1,500 cc in full to August in order to continue supporting the country’s pandemic-hit automotive industry.

    Revealed in February, the tax was fully removed in March and was supposed to run until May, when it would have then shifted to 50% from June until August. Now, the country’s industry ministry says that the full exemption for these vehicle types will likely continue to the end of July, before it is eventually halved to 50% from August to December, Reuters reports.

    The extension of the tax break was aimed at revitalising demand for a industry “that has consistently contributed significantly to the national economy,” the country’s industry minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said over the weekend. The plan was being discussed, according to a spokesperson from the finance ministry.

    The tax exemption programme for sedans and two-wheel drive cars below 1.5 litres in engine capacity runs alongside a similar incentive announced in April for four-wheel drive models and cars of up to 2,500 cc engine displacement that are manufactured with at least 60% domestically-sourced components.

    Under this scheme, tax discounts ranging from 12.5% to 50% are being given until the end of the year, although the maximum 50% discount will only be given from April to August, and will be halved to 25% from September to December.

    Models that benefit from the expanded tax exemption include the Toyota Fortuner and Innova as well as the Honda CR-V and HR-V. In the case of the Honda models, prices were lowered by as much as RM10,400 for the CR-V and more than RM7,000 for the HR-V.

    Vehicle sales in ASEAN’s largest economy grew after the tax break was introduced in March, but have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. Indonesia’s auto sales in 2020 was just over 532,000 units, around half of the 2019 total.

  • FMCO: Lockdown extended by two weeks, to June 28

    The government has announced that phase one of the full movement control order (FMCO) will be extended by two weeks from June 15 to 28. No surprise as to the extension of the nationwide lockdown, what with daily Covid-19 cases still well above the 5,000 mark. The number of reported cases today was 6,849.

    As before, all sectors, with the exception of essential economic and service sectors that are listed as such by the national security council (MKN), will not be allowed to operate during the period. Existing standard operating procedures (SOPs), which were updated for the FMCO, will remain in place.

    This includes vehicle capacity restrictions, where only two people per household will be allowed to go out in a car to buy food, medicine and essentials. An allowance will be given for a maximum of three people to travel in a vehicle for the purpose of seeking medical care or emergency medical services, including the person needing that medical attention, within a 10 km radius from the point of residence.

    The travel for essentials is also restricted to a 10 km radius from the location of one’s residence, the movement limit similar to that implemented in the first MCO last year. For taxis and ride-hailing services, the number of people in a car is also limited to two, including the driver, and the passenger must sit in the rear.

    On the automotive front, car sales have of course come to a complete halt, as all car showrooms are closed and no test drives of any sort are permitted. Auto production will also continue to be halted at plants across the country for the duration of the FMCO.

    However, certain essential businesses have been permitted to operate, and these are car workshops, after-sales service centres, spare parts businesses as well as tyre shops, although not all businesses related to these were running during the initial part of the lockdown.

    Similarly, all services at both Puspakom and the road transport department (JPJ) have stopped until the lockdown is over. Those with their driving license, road tax (LKM) or vocational license (PSV/GDL) expiring between June 1 to July 31 have been given leeway to renew the documents from August 1 to September 30 this year.

    As it was with the previous MCO-related leeway, all vehicles with expired road tax must have valid insurance cover. Print out and keep your insurance e-cover note in the vehicle and present it to the authorities when required.

  • Volvo Car Malaysia announces extension of service interval and warranty grace period beyond the FMCO

    As a result of restrictions brought about by the full movement control order (FMCO), Volvo Car Malaysia (VCM) has announced measures to reassure customers who are unable to send their vehicles in for routine servicing and warranty repairs during the period.

    The company said via a posting on its official Facebook page that it is providing an additional warranty grace period and extension to the service interval beyond the FMCO. It is offering a grace period of up to two months after the lockdown is lifted by the government for warranty extensions.

    Additionally, VCM said it will also honour all customers whose vehicle service intervals have surpassed the requirements (mileage, warranty date, running date, service appointment) during the lockdown period.

    The company said that during the FMCO, the operation of its service centres may vary depending on location, and said that customers needing urgent service or repair needs should contact the Volvo dealership nearest to them to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

  • GoKL free bus – reduced frequency for FMCO period

    Rapid KL has released a new schedule for the GoKL free bus service, with reduced frequencies to match the quiet city centre. This MCO 3.0 schedule started over the weekend and will be in place until further notice. Malaysia is currently in the so-called FMCO (F for full), which will last till June 14.

    Note that Orange, Pink, Turquoise, Maroon and Chocolate lines will have 15 minute intervals during peak hours, which are rather wide at 6am to 10am, and 3pm to 9pm. Outside of these hours (10am to 3pm), these Go KL lines will not be operating.

    As for the more popular Green, Purple, Blue and Red routes, the buses will come every five minutes during peak hours (same hours as above) and every 30 minutes from 10am to 3pm. For Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, all GoKL lines will operate from 7am to 9pm at 30 minute intervals.

    Those who use GoKL buses for last mile transport, take note of the new schedule. You can track the buses in real time using the Pulse journey planner app. Always try to maintain social distancing and wear masks when using public transport. Sanitise your hands frequently, too.

  • FMCO: Malaysian police say cycling to work is allowed

    After it was reported cycling was not allowed in the list of permitted activities under the Movement Control Order 3.0 (FMCO), Malaysian police have come out to say cycling to work is permitted. However, cycling as a recreational or sports activity is forbidden for the duration of the FMCO.

    Speaking during an impromptu handover ceremony for aid to police front liners, Subang Jaya district police chief Assistant Commissioner of Police Abdul Khalid Othman said no compounds will be issued to individuals riding a bicycle to work. “I appeal to the public, follow the standard operating procedures (SOP), it is our responsibility to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in a Sinar Harian report.

    ACP Abdul Khalid reminded cyclists that recreational activities involving riding, whether individually or in groups, is not permitted under the SOP and offenders will be issued a compound notice. ACP Abdul Khalid also mentioned that the most compounds were issued for the offences of not wearing a face mask and not using the My Sejahtera application.

  • FMCO: Police roadblocks now at 930 nationwide, but total could increase to more than 1,000 in near future

    Despite imposing 800 roadblocks nationwide with the implementation of a two-week lockdown under the tightened third movement control over (MCO 3.0), members of the public are still on the roads in certain areas. Dissatisfied with the situation, home minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin has said more roadblocks may be imposed based on numbers obtained since the lockdown was implemented on June 1.

    Discussions held between Hamzah and inspector-general of police (IGP) Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani have identified Selangor and Kuala Lumpur as the main areas of concern, reports the New Straits Times. “The increase in the number of roadblocks in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur is to limit the movement of vehicles,” said Hamzah.

    In a previous report, the number of roadblocks nationwide was being increased from 600 to 800, involving 70,000 personnel from police and other agencies. Yesterday, there were 930 roadblocks deployed nationwide under Ops Benteng, but Hamzah said the total could increase to 1,000 in the near future.

    “We will increase it further at locations where there are still a large number of vehicles, based on the statistics obtained in the first two days of the full lockdown. Besides that, some locations in Penang will also see an increase in the number of roadblocks, due to a large number of vehicles,” he added.

  • FMCO: Police will accept authorisation letters from any ministry for work-related travel, leeway to be given

    The police has said that all individual authorisation letters issued by relevant goverment ministries or departments are valid on their own for work-related travel. This was revealed by Bukit Aman internal security and public order department (operations) chief MV Srikumar Nair on June 2 via a video post, The Star reports.

    “All letters of travel, be it from the international trade and industry ministry (MITI), other ministries or relevant departments, will be accepted on their own. Please inform those who are conducting roadblocks,” he said in the video post. He added that the directive came from the inspector-general of police.

    His post was in response to reports that businesses were facing issues in getting the necessary paper work for travel at the start of the full movement control order (FMCO), which began on June 1. It was said that authorities were not accepting letters from agencies such as the transport ministry, among others.

    Earlier, the transport ministry had made clear that all transport and logistics sub-sectors are allowed to operate at optimum levels for the duration of the lockdown, which is in place until June 14, and only needed an approval letter from it to do so without requiring additional permission documents to make interstate travel during the period.

    Separately, FMT reported that Srikumar said that police manning roadblocks would be giving leeway for those working in companies that had not yet received their MITI approval letters. He however said that all engaged in work travel would still need to have approval letters from relevant ministries or agencies their sectors were operating under.

    Meanwhile, the ministry of domestic trade and consumer affairs (KPDNHEP) stated today via a FB post (infographic above) that all businesses defined as essential and allowed to operate by the national security council (MKN) can continue to operate as usual while waiting for their approval letter from MITI.

  • KLIA Ekspres, Transit to stop operating from June 4

    Click to enlarge

    Express Rail Link (ERL) has announced that its KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit trains will stop operating from June 4, which is tomorrow. The city-to-airport trains will remain grounded “until further notice”.

    ERL says that the temporary suspension is in view of the total lockdown directive from the government and follows consultations with the transport ministry and the land public transport agency (APAD).

    With air travel no longer what it used to be, ERL’s business has become unsustainable. The company explained that more than one year after the first outbreak of Covid-19, there are limited commuters and “virtually no air travellers using the train services”.

    ERL’s average daily ridership dropped by 69% in 2020 compared to 2019, which now seems like a previous lifetime. With the start of the total lockdown on June 1, average daily ridership plunged a further 89% compared to 2020 levels. Compared to pre-Covid days, that’s a 97% drop.

    “We regret the inconvenience to your travel plans and commuting needs. Please arrange for alternative transportation to your destination during this period,” it added. Click on the image above to see the list of alternative ways to get to the airport, should you need to do so.

  • FMCO: Toyota showrooms closed, but selected service centres open – owners get 30-day warranty extension

    With the full lockdown in place from June 1 to 14, 2021, it goes without saying that car showrooms are not allowed to operate for the stipulated duration of the FMCO. For those who are somehow in the mood to shop for a brand new car, you can do so at UMW Toyota Motor’s online showroom.

    While showrooms remain closed, selected Toyota 3S and 4S centres, including body and paint facilities are open. However, customers are required to book a service slot beforehand – unscheduled walk-in requests will not be entertained, as it is by appointment only.

    Click to enlarge

    The usual preventive measures will be in place, so customers are required to wear a face mask at all times and get their temperatures checked upon arrival. The vehicle will be sanitised twice – once before it goes into the service centre, and another before it is returned to the owner. You may locate the nearest dealership to your place of residence, here.

    UMW Toyota is also granting a 30-day warranty extension, applicable for vehicles with warranties that are expiring or have expired during this FMCO period. The extension is calculated from the last day of FMCO, meaning the additional 30 days starts from June 14. Click here for more info on UMWT’s operations during the full lockdown.

  • FMCO: Police remind public of two-to-a-car rule – three allowed for reasons of medical care and emergencies

    Into the second day of the nationwide lockdown from June 1 to 14, the police has reminded the public – via an infographic – of the vehicle capacity restrictions that are in place during the full movement control order (FMCO) period, where only two people per household will be allowed to go out in a car to buy food, medicine and essentials.

    An allowance will be given for a maximum of three people to travel in a vehicle for the purpose of seeking medical care or emergency medical services, including the person needing that medical attention, within a 10 km radius from the point of residence.

    The travel for essentials is also restricted to a 10 km radius from the location of one’s residence, the movement limit similar to that implemented in the first MCO last year. For taxis and ride-hailing services, the number of people in a car is also limited to two, including the driver, and the passenger must sit in the rear, so do remember to observe the necessary.

    Those travelling to work will of course need proper documentation and authorisation letters in case they are asked to show proof to authorities, and as it was last year, those who need to drive out to purchase essentials during the FMCO would do well to keep a copy of an utility bill as proof of current residence and to establish compliance.


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Last Updated 10 Jun 2021