Companies allowed to operate during MCO can go full capacity, says Azmin

Economic sectors allowed to operate at half capacity during phases one to three of the movement control order (MCO) are allowed to carry on business at full capacity from today, April 29. These companies must, however, comply with the established standard operating procedure (SOP) in their respective sectors, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. Companies that have already been approved need not apply to Miti. “While the government has allowed some leniency, business owners still need to adhere to the ‘new normal’ by following social distancing rules in the workplace and health control guidelines,” he added. He said the National Security Council (NSC) meeting, which included the Prime Minister, Mentris Besar and Chief Ministers, agreed to allow economic sectors that were given permission to operate at full capacity without any time constraints. The government hoped to revitalise the supply chain of goods and services to meet both domestic and foreign demands with the positive impact, especially on small-medium enterprises (SMEs). (The Star Online)

Fomca urges govt to extend deferment of loan repayment

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) has called on the government to extend the deferment for loan repayments from six months to at least nine months to ease workers’ financial burden. Tts president Datuk Paul Selvaraj said the extension, including for housing loans, could hopefully help them settle their employment issues and earn enough to resume meeting their financial obligations to the banks. Paul said the six-month deferment of their bank obligations was useful but certainly not sufficient, especially for families facing the crisis with limited means and not having a clear picture of their employment future. He said many consumers might even have to dig into their personal savings or make borrowings from informal sources to meet their basic family expenses. (Malay Mail)

Perak to rebuild state’s tourism sector with industry players after MCO

The Perak government will work together with industry players to rebuild the state’s tourism sector after the MCO has been lifted, said state exco Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi. The State Housing, Local Government and Tourism Committee chairman said this followed the closure of several hotels in the state following enforcement of the MCO. Some of the hotels were forced to close only after a few months in operation as there was no business. Among the plans being made by the government, she said, were to organise skills training for those who were laid-off and create new employment opportunities. (Malay Mail)

Furniture manufacturers, retailers told to prepare for export opportunities

Malaysian furniture industry players should prepare themselves for opportunities to export various types of furniture to the United States (US), post-COVID-19. Thomas Russell, senior editor of US online daily Furniture Today, said manufacturers and retailers in Malaysia should maintain a strong partnership with their respective US customers and keep a close eye on the latest development and situation in the US. “Some states in the US are opening up again starting May 1, and orders are being re-sent. As Malaysia has a strong product line for categories such as home office, living room and dining room, this would be an opportunity for growth,” he said. Meanwhile, as China’s economic environment begins to recover, supplies of raw materials are also expected to resume.(Bernama)

Malaysia records lowest new Covid-19 cases in a day since MCO started

Malaysia reported just 31 new Covid-19 cases today, the lowest number since the movement control order (MCO) was initiated on March 18. The last time daily new cases was below 30 was back in March 12, before the second wave of Covid-19 infections. As of 12pm yesterday, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases is 5,851 cases, with 1,719 of them active cases. However, one more death was recorded. 75 more former patients have been discharged to give Malaysia a total of 4,032 recoveries. Malaysia’s Covid-19 recovery rate is now at 68.91%. (Malay Mail)