With the third phase of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) coming into effect yesterday, business operations have resumed for five sectors added to the list of ‘essential services’.

Under the latest gazette signed by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and cited by NST, the latest list of essential services are (new ones in bold):

  • Food
  • Healthcare and medical, including dietary supplements
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Security and defence
  • Solid waste and public cleansing management and sewerage
  • Transportation by land, water or air
  • Port, dock and airport services and undertakings, including stevedoring, lighterage, cargo handling, and pilotage, and storing or bulking of commodities
  • Communication and internet
  • Banking and finance
  • E-commerce
  • Production, refining, storage, supply and distribution of fuel and lubricants
  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Any service, work or industry determined as ‘essential’ by the Minister after consultation with authorities regulating the service, work or industry
  • Logistics confined to the provision of essential services

The services added to the gazette published on 14 April were among the original 22 listed as essential for the first phase, but were dropped during the second phase of the order.

According to the gazette, named as the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, a person is permitted to travel from one place to another within any infected local area only for these six reasons:

  • Purchase food, medicine, dietary supplements or daily necessities
  • Supply or deliver food, medicine, dietary supplements or daily necessities
  • Seek healthcare or medical services
  • Procure any essential service other than those referred to in paragraphs (1) and (3)
  • Perform any official duty
  • Provide any essential service or perform any duty in relation to any essential service

However, their journey is restricted to a 10-kilometre radius from their respective homes, except for any special circumstance.

The latest rule also requires those returning from overseas to undergo health examination upon arrival in Malaysia before proceeding for Immigration clearance at any point of entry.

To ensure a higher level of public compliance with MCO, the government will no longer issue compound. Instead, those who are caught defying the order will immediately be detained for legal action, Bernama reported.

According to Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, under Section 24 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), the court could impose a jail sentence for up to two years and for subsequent offence jail of up to five years.

Ismail Sabri added that the cumulative number of people detained for defying MCO as of last Monday was 9,090.

Photo / 123RF