PETALING JAYA: The government has made a U-turn and revoked its decision to allow Heineken Malaysia Bhd and Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd to continue their operations during the movement control order (MCO) period.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the approval for the breweries to continue was revoked during a special Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“The International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) will issue a letter of revocation immediately.
“Therefore, the issue no longer arises about Heineken and Carlsberg's operations, ” he told a press conference on Monday (April 6).
On March 24, Heineken suspended operations of its brewery in Petaling Jaya due to the MCO that was in force.
However, on Sunday (April 5), it obtained approval from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to resume limited operations with a minimal number of essential workers during the MCO.
Heineken said that only very essential staff, which was less than 10% of its workforce, would be involved in ensuring a continuous and uninterrupted supply of its products, adding that its non-essential workers would continue to operate from home.
This decision, however, resulted in criticisms from PAS and Muslim groups that questioned this exemption, as alcohol is not considered as an essential item.