Nine out of 13 states of Malaysia will not be following the Federal Government's plan to allow businesses to resume under the conditional Movement Control Order (MCO) starting today, 4 May
On 1 May, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the government's decision of relaxing the MCO to allow the restart of the country's economy in view of Malaysia's success in handling the COVID-19 outbreak, reported Bernama.
However, according to The Star, state governments of Kedah, Kelantan, Penang, Pahang, Sabah, and Sarawak have decided not to observe the move, while Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, and Perak said they would amend the conditional MCO by only allowing a certain number of businesses to resume operations.
States governments keeping the current MCO in place are seen giving greater priority to public health and safety in face of the threat of COVID-19.
According to Malay Mail, one of the earliest states to refuse the relaxation of the MCO was the Sarawak state government.
The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) announced on Saturday, 2 May, that they would take the precautionary measure of first studying the implications of reopening economic activities.
"Taking into account Sarawak's local situation in terms of the COVID-19 cases, logistic capability, the capacity of the Health Department, and its geographical circumstances, the SDMC has found that many of the standards of compliance of the reopening of the economic activities will not be conducive in the state," said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas in a statement.
He said all directives under the three phases of MCO remains in force until the study is complete.
theSundaily reported that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, too, will continue the current fourth phase of MCO until 12 May as previously determined by the national government.
He said that the decision was made to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the people of Sabah are not exposed to the virus.
Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir announced that the state understood the reason why the conditional MCO was imposed by the Federal Government, but would not be following the order.
"Yes, economy is important. We empathise with those facing financial setbacks because of the MCO," he said on Sunday, 3 May, as quoted by The Star.
"But at the same time, we don't want to see a sudden surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. Human life is our priority."
He said a special security committee would meet today, 4 May, to study the implementation of the conditional MCO for the suitability for Kedah.
The Malaysian Insight reported that Kelantan is holding off implementation of the conditional MCO until the state security committee discusses the matter on Thursday, 7 May.
Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said they did not want to ease restrictions too early, even though the entire state has a green zone status.
Pahang will be postponing the conditional MCO until the state security reaches a decision on Friday, 8 May.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said that they need to figure out how to manage the latest COVID-19 cluster in the state before opening any businesses.
"Until our decision is made in our weekly meeting, any instructions based on the current MCO remain standing," he said.
According to New Straits Times, the Penang government has announced they will implement the Penang Gradual Recovery Strategy (PGRS) instead of the conditional MCO.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yew said they plan to reopen economic sectors in stages from 8 to 13 May, but the existing MCO would be in place until then.
"The relaxing of the MCO cannot be done drastically without plans. The safety and health of Penangites is the priority of the Penang government," he said.
Selangor has made amendments to the conditional MCO by restricting the number of businesses that will resume operations today, 4 May, reported theSundaily.
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the state will be taking a "soft landing" approach in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, taking into account economic needs and the welfare of the people.
Among other precautions contrary to the federal government's announcement, restaurants and eateries are not allowed to serve dine-in customers, while public parks and closed-door recreational facilities such as gyms and swimming pools will not be open to the public.
According to Bernama, the Perak state government will still prohibit dine-in at all food premises and recreational activities in public parks in the state.
However, state secretary Datuk Ahmad Suadi Abdul Rahim said all state government offices will be re-opened today, 4 May, to ensure the public service is delivered to the people
9. Negeri Sembilan
Malay Mail reported that state secretary Datuk Razali Abdul Malik said while the state supports the Federal Government's decision in spirit, it will not open up its economic sector until the infection rate there is controlled.
"Enhanced MCO localities such as the housing area in Sendayan, Seremban Market, Bahau Market, or areas with high infection rates and new infection rates, will not be allowed to have any economic activities," he said.
The state government decided to only approve certain economic sectors, but dine-ins at restaurants, as well as any social and sports activities are still banned.
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