The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, announced on 25th March 2020 that the Movement Control Order (“MCO”) which has been in force since 18th March 2020 will be extended until 14th April 2020.
Epidemiologist Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud has opined that the MCO needs to be in force for at least six (6) consecutive weeks in order to bring down the COVID-19 infections to a manageable level. This could mean a further extension beyond 14th April 2020.
In its preliminary assessment note on “COVID-19 and world of work: Impacts and responses,” the International Labour Organization “estimates indicate a rise in global unemployment of between 5.3 million (“low” scenario) and 24.7 million (“high” scenario) from a base level of 188 million in 2019.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Small and Medium Enterprise (“SME“) Association of Malaysia, Datuk Michael Kang, estimates that up to 1 million Malaysians could lose their jobs if 10% of SMEs are forced to close for good.
The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, a think tank, estimates that around 2.4 million Malaysians could lose their jobs as a result of the MCO being extended by 2 weeks.