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State of Emergency: How It Affects You

Mohamad Danial bin Ab. Khalil
by Mohamad Danial bin Ab. Khalil
Jan 12, 2021 at 10:25 AM

Malaysia has entered a state of emergency and it will last until Aug 1, 2021. It could also end earlier, depending on the state of coronavirus infections. The king's proclamation on the state of emergency on Jan 12 came after a startling rise of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia as the total cases surpass 138,000. 

On Jan 11, the government announced the tightening of COVID-19 restrictions, setting five states and three federal territories under the Movement Control Order (MCO) again for two weeks


State of Emergency: What does it mean?

Article 150(1) of the Constitution specifies that if the king is convinced that a grave emergency exists, whereby the security, economic life, or public order in the federation or any part thereof is threatened, he may issue a proclamation of emergency. 

According to Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, the current pandemic has presented a significant threat to the people's economic life, thus justifying a state of emergency.

During the state of emergency, the parliament and state legislative assemblies will not sit until a time decided by the king.

Muhyiddin assured that the state of emergency does not mean a military coup, and there will not be a curfew.


Potential scenarios during the State of Emergency

According to the Prime Minister, the king can proclaim several emergency ordinances which include: 

  • Issues related to private hospital assets; 
  • Temporary ownership of land, buildings or moveable properties of private hospitals; 
  • Request to use the resources of private hospitals to treat patients. 

The government can also find a more inclusive involvement from the private sector, including private healthcare facilities, to ease government agencies' burden, especially public hospitals. 

The government can also declare an ordinance to provide enforcement powers to the armed forces. The government will tighten border control through authorising military personnel to detain illegal immigrants and anybody who breaches national borders. 

Ordinances directed at combating economic sabotage, monopoly and excessive increase of prices of goods can also be proclaimed by the king, with sterner enforcement actions and heavier punishments to be imposed. 

Those who live in CMO areas can only travel up to 10km radius

Current MCO protocols

  • Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan are placed under MCO from Wednesday until Jan 26, 2021. 

  • Interstate travel is BANNED across Malaysia. 

  • Travelling between districts is NOT allowed for MCO areas.

  • Social activities, such as wedding receptions and conferences, are NOT allowed.

  • Conditional MCO (CMCO) states are Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan are under Conditional MCO (CMCO).

  • Recovery MCO (RMCO) states are Perlis and Sarawak.

  • The MCO allows two people per family to leave home to purchase daily necessities. Movement is limited to a 10km radius. 

  • Eateries are only allowed to open for takeaways in MCO states. Those who are in CMCO and RMCO areas can operate according to SOPs. 

  • Only students sitting for major school-leaving exams will return to schools in MCO areas. Primary school students and those in Secondary 1-4 will resume learning from home. 

  • Education institutions in CMCO and RMCO states will operate according to their respective academic calendars. 


Protocols for businesses during MCO

Senior Minister for Economy, Mohamed Azmin Ali stated that the government's decision to allow five crucial economic sectors to operate in these places is to ensure its economic recovery process, business sustainability and avoid high unemployment rates. The five crucial economic sectors are manufacturing, construction, services, trade and distribution sectors, as well as plantations and commodities.

He also said that only 30% of employees in the management group are allowed in the office.

"The number of employees directly involved in the production line will be decided by their respective employers, taking into account strict compliance to the SOPs," he said. 

Those whose work does not require physical attendance can work from home. 

The minister said the government's proactive action would positively impact the country's economic growth, local and foreign investment flows, and the sustainability of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

NEW and latest Covid-19 SOPs, info and guidelines from the Government >> DOWNLOAD HERE

Source: Channel News Asia

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