PETALING JAYA: Many companies are still unsure whether they are allowed to operate after the latest movement control order went into effect on Wednesday, with the list constantly changing.
However, business owners and associations said the process of obtaining the notification letter from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) to be allowed to operate was a straightforward one.
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said companies were able to apply for the letter, which allows workers to travel to work during the MCO period, through a dedicated website.
“Previously, workers only needed a letter from the company to allow them to travel, but this time around, the authorities also require a letter from Miti.
“However, there is not much to worry about because companies can write to Miti and register for the notification letter online.
“For example, MEF submitted our online application to Miti and we found that within a few hours, our application was approved, ” he said.
He said companies that were part of the supply chain to essential sectors might still grapple with whether or not they were deemed as “essential”.
“For example, the companies that are supplying materials to plantation sectors – are they considered part of the plantation sector?
“Companies need to liaise with Miti and get the green light before they start operating, and they can do so via email.
“However, so far, there have not been any major complaints, ” he said.
SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said those who were unsure of whether they were deemed as “essential” could visit the Miti or National Security Council website for clarification.
“They need to get the ‘black and white’ from Miti if they want to travel for work. Without the letter, they will definitely face action from enforcement officers, ” he said.
Kunaal Shewandas, 35, said the process to register his company on the Miti CIMS database was a speedy one.
“It was quick, though the web traffic was busy. I had to refresh a few times so it took two hours for me.
“But if there is not a lot of traffic, I could have gotten it done within a few minutes, ” said the business owner who runs a company that sells fabrics used in face masks, blankets and funerals.
He added that Miti had also asked questions about the company’s yearly revenue, number of workers and the type of economic activity it was engaged in.
Companies in essential services that have not registered with CIMS can do so at the link https://notification.miti.gov.myMiti, in collaboration with relevant state authorities, will conduct periodic enforcement throughout the MCO period on companies to ensure compliance with SOP and will take action to compound offences in accordance with Section 25 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Act 342).
Meanwhile, to make the process even smoother, retailers have suggested that the list which stipulates the types of stores that are selling “essential” items should be revised as and when necessary.
Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Shirley Tay said the government should fine-tune the list of stores allowed to operate during the MCO period.
“The list should be reviewed and revised from time to time so that certain ‘essential’ services can be included as and when the situation arises, ” she said when contacted.
Tay added that there might be some who felt it was unclear why certain sectors were allowed to operate while others were not allowed to do so.
“Any retail store relating to health, including optical (services), and food should be allowed to operate as they are considered essential services and goods, ” she said.
The government had in the past few days made several amendments to the kinds of stores that are given the green light to continue operating under the MCO.
Self-service launderettes were initially not allowed to open but Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob later said the government had agreed to let them operate after hearing public complaints.
Bumiputera Retailers Organisation president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin suggests that the government disseminate a list of stores that cannot open, instead of publishing a limited list of stores that can operate.
He said this was to eliminate any doubts among retailers about what types of products could be sold at their stores.
“For instance, department stores are allowed to operate, but clothing stores are not.
“There are uncertainties here because department stores also sell clothes.
“And yet, the clothing store next door cannot open to sell products, ” he said.
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