KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) supports the call for stricter implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO) to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 infections, but it is against a blanket lockdown of the economy.

MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said the current nationwide MCO is estimated to cost the nation about RM300 million per day.

Comparatively, during the MCO 1.0 total lockdown last year, Malaysia lost about RM2.4 billion per day.

“Stringent MCO measures should be implemented in states which report a surge in new infections, particularly Selangor which recently recorded more than 1,000 new cases per day.

“While the impact of a blanket MCO would be devastating to business and the economy, it is understood that there is a dire need to curb the rising number of new daily infections,” he said in a statement today.

Syed Hussain added that the MEF is doing its utmost to comply with the prescribed standard operating procedures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Employers need to play a positive role to ensure that the health and safety of employees are safeguarded.

“MEF continually advises our members to take all the necessary precautions so that we would be able to see the end of this pandemic,” he added.

In a Facebook post today, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz defended Malaysia’s move not to shut down its economy under the Movement Control Order (MCO) 2.0 and MCO 3.0, saying this could prevent various adverse effects such as unemployment reaching an estimated 1 million people.

He said that in working to curb the spread of COVID-19, the country should not sacrifice economic growth and hurt the vulnerable group.


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