Govt must provide clear instructions on SOPs it sets during conditional MCO, says MCA

PETALING JAYA: The government must provide clear instructions on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) it sets during the conditional movement control order (MCO) to prevent widespread confusion, says MCA.

Party secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the lack of clear directives will also cause unnecessary strain on frontliners.

Chong said this after Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Tuesday (Oct 21) that private and public sector workers who are in the management and supervision categories in Selangor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya were directed to work from home effective Oct 22.

However, on Wednesday (Oct 22) Ismail Sabri clarified that only those in the public sector and industries under the International Trade and Industry Minister (Miti) were affected by the work-from-home order, adding that workers in essential services, security as well as the informal sector were not affected.

Miti Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali also announced that a maximum of 10% of those in management and supervisory roles are permitted to work on site.

Azmin had said that these workers will only be allowed to enter their workplaces for four hours (from 10am to 2pm) each day, for no more than three days a week, and need to get a letter from their employers for the purpose.

Chong joins a chorus of people, including industry players and businesses, who have criticised the government's work-from-home directive.

Chong said the government's directive to allow commercial sports facilities to open also caused confusion among the people.

"They (the people) will think: Why must basic level employees work from home, yet allow sports centres to open? Does that mean infection rates at sports centres are lower?

"Furthermore, the latest announcement by Miti indicates that basic level employees will go to work as usual, while managerial and supervisory level employees are to work from home.

"Even though this is understood to be a way to reduce movements by people, it will definitely be a setback against the economy’s recovery," he said in a statement Wednesday (Oct 21).

Chong added that the "odd guidelines" of the three-day work week and limited hours by the government together with the distinction between red zones and non-red zones only "adds confusion".

"The virus does not differentiate between basic levels and managerial positions, or picks a certain time of the day to infect people. While people are trying their best to adapt to the new normal, it is imperative for the government to be stringent and meticulous in drafting new guidelines," he said.

The work-from-home directive will be in place for as long as the conditional MCO is enforced on these areas.

Sabah’s order is until Oct 26 while the order for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya ends on Oct 27 and in Labuan, it will finish on Oct 30.

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