MCO extension is an pragmatic approach, says analyst


Juwai IQI chief economist Shan Saeed(pic) said the government’s decision to extend the MCO while accommodating the need to move forward was surely based on the need to ensure that people are protected

KUALA LUMPUR: As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads across the world creating new epicentres, Malaysia is taking a pragmatic approach in extending the movement control order (MCO) for another two weeks while relaxing certain regulations, says an analyst.

Juwai IQI chief economist Shan Saeed said the government’s decision to extend the MCO while accommodating the need to move forward was surely based on the need to ensure that people are protected and came back to work with solid confidence so as to brighten the economic outlook.

“It was a tough call but in these challenging times, you have to take bold and courageous decisions in order to send strong signals to the market, ” he told Bernama.

Shan said it is encouraging that the government has allowed selected small and big players to start opening their businesses to kickstart the economic recovery process.

The cabinet on Friday decided to allow several additional economic sectors to operate in phases during the MCO, which has been extended until April 28, on condition that they strictly adhere to health and safety guidelines.

Industries that are allowed to operate are machinery and equipment, aerospace and science, professional and technical services, including research and development (R&D) related to legal practice, oil & gas, and activities related to Covid-19.

In addition, registered traditional medicine services, hardware shops, electrical and electronics shops, optometrist shops, barber shops and full-service laundry shops are allowed to operate, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

“So for the government it’s a trade-off between a healthy nation and economy.

The government is trying its best to get the economy back on track so it becomes business as usual, and keeping people safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. — Bernama

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