Malaysia continues to put in place movement restrictions
While efforts are ongoing to help the Malaysian economy on its long road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian government has moved to extend the recovery movement control order (RMCO) through to the end of 2020.
Slated to end on August 31, the RMCO has seen most businesses in the country allowed to resume operations, albeit under stringent measures such as social distancing and the mandatory wearing of face masks.
The exception were nightclubs and entertainment centres, which have continued to be shuttered as the government believes new norms will be difficult to implement in these venues.
Highlighting how Malaysia continues to face challenges in curbing the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said, “We cannot risk taking this super-spreading virus lightly in the country. Therefore, stricter quarantine rules at certain locations will continue to be enforced.”
With Malaysia’s GDP falling by 17.1% in the second quarter of 2020, the extension of the RMCO is likely to add to the woes of industries such as manufacturing, investment and tourism.
Under the terms of the extended RMCO, tourists will continue to be banned from entering Malaysia as international travel continues to be crippled because of the pandemic.
This is likely to result in an economic recession for Malaysia in 2020, with the Central Bank predicting a 3.5%-5.5% contraction of the economy this year, while unemployment hit a 31-year high of 5.3% this May.