The Restricted Movement Order that came into effect in Malaysia on March 18, 2020 has left producers and manufacturers in the country with many concerns. Some traders who run factories are also struggling to understand the definition of being an essential service, since the requirement seems to just be making arrangements to run operations on half the usual manpower. The primary concern being raised by traders is that the procedural requirements of applying for exemptions to continue operations is also unclear.

Other concerns raised were:

  1. The complexity of processes involved in applying for exemptions to the orderMala
  2. Whether authorities understand end to end supply chains enough to appreciate how activities support the obvious essential services
  3. Can authorities respond to the thousands of exemptions applications they are receiving in a timely manner
  4. Conflicting instructions being given to enforcement officers who may shut down exempted business operations anyway
  5. Delays while awaiting decisions on exemption orders
  6. Concerns with some manufacturing sites that take several days to start up or shut down

As the Covid-19 response may require further extensions to the movement order and maybe even a revision of measures, governments around the world look to learn from the successes and mistakes made by others to provide a lock down solution that minimizes impact to the economy while effectively controlling local transmission of the virus. Nonetheless, a solution that works in any one country may not be easily translatable to another country with the same result.

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