COVID-19

CCIFM Input on Covid-19 : Emergency Meeting with MITI on 17 March 2020

Kuala Lumpur, 17 March 2020 - Following last night's announcement by the Malaysian Government to place the country under nationwide movement control as per midnight tonight, an emergency meeting at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to discuss this with Chambers and Business Associations.  The meeting was in turn chaired by YB Minister, Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General (Industrial Development) and also attended by all major MITI agencies such as MIDA and Matrade. 

Hereby we will try to provide a quick summary of the main points which are relevant for our members.

Decisions on the order are made by the National Security Council (NSC). This public health order supersedes the industrial relation order. Legal action can be taken against companies or persons failing to comply. Government operations will also be minimized to essential services (which are focused on finances and ICT, the latter to maintain websites with all relevant updates and to answer questions). Port operations will continue, but minimized. Import and Export matters are still being discussed. For non compliance to your contracts, the government states that this is beyond control, force majeure is in place.

Human Resource Ministry will be discussing with NSC the implications for salary payments etc. For now, the input is that any staff payments would be subject to terms & conditions of the employment agreement.

For health matters, only the Health Ministry will issue statements.
For non-health matters, only the NSC will issue statements.

The business associations (including FMM) have pointed out many uncertainties that the order brings for companies in manufacturing and services.  "Essential" industries are too limited, and not well defined, especially when it comes to the supply chain and supplies for these essential industries (which might include but not limited to palm oil, O&G, plastics, packaging, etc).  It was strongly pointed out, that:

  •  most factories and companies have been well ahead of this controlled movement order, and taken their own measures to limit the risk to their staff and operations.  Offices/factories are controlled, all staff is known in case of an infection. 
  •  therefore, so far no known cases of infected persons came out of factories;
  • even in Wuhan, there was not a complete shutdown on manufacturing.
  •  many factories need a much longer notice to shut down operations, seizing operations can take days, could cause contamination and or could take months to restart.
  •  threat of social unrest if workers (especially foreign workers) can't go to work.


Today at 2:30pm the NSC will discuss the implementation of the order, and to look into necessary exceptions. The strongest request has been made to YB MITI Minister (as the Senior Minister) to put all concern of businesses forward to NSC during this meeting, and find some solutions to mitigate before tonight's midnight deadline.  

Any input and requests for exceptions can / must URGENTLY be made to the MITI secretariat at: covid19sec@miti.gov.my. For any submissions, kindly keep CCI FRANCE MALAYSIA in the cc mlozach@mfcci.com (Mr. Michel Lozach, Managing Director) or inform us separately.

Gilles WAELDIN
President

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