PM: Malaysia to stay in Phase One of recovery plan, more assistance will be announced by Tuesday

The first phase of the National Recovery Plan due to expire tomorrow will be extended as the country’s Covid-19 infection numbers have not met the threshold set, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The prime minister said that daily Covid-19 cases were still above the limit of 4,000 a day, one of the three benchmarks that must be reached before the NRP could move into the second phase. Muhyiddin also stressed that Malaysia would not exit Phase One until all three NRP indicators — new cases below 4,000 daily, “moderate” demand on intensive care capacity, and 10% vaccination in the country — have been met. However, the prime minister said he would announce additional financial assistance by Tuesday, and assured small-medium enterprises (SMEs) that they would not be left out. Yesterday, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz appeared to indicate that the loan repayment moratorium from last year would be reintroduced. (Malay Mail)

Ismail Sabri: Eateries allowed to open from 6am to 10pm starting tomorrow

The government has today announced a revision to the existing operating hours for eateries and restaurants under the first phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) to operate from 6am until 10pm starting tomorrow. Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob however said dine-ins will still be restricted to Phase Three of the NRP. “After taking into consideration the appeals and views from stakeholders, today’s meeting has agreed to revise the operating hours from 6am to 10pm effective June 28,” he said. Following the extension announcement to Phase One, Ismail Sabri said existing standard operating procedures (SOP) are still in effect whereby all non-essential economic and social activities are not allowed to operate except those listed under the approved list stipulated by the National Security Council. (Malay Mail)

High time to review essential sectors list, govt urged

With Phase One of the National Recovery Plan still in force, businesses want the government to recalibrate the list of essential services and industries to include their supply and export businesses.They also urged the introduction of automatic moratoriums, rental waivers and relief, tax exemptions and the ramping up of vaccination programmes for industries. Federation of Manufacturers Malaysia president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said even the bigger firms were struggling to survive. He said the list of essential economic and services sectors approved to operate must include an en bloc approval of the entire supply chain, with an increase in workforce capacity to 80%. “Critical manufacturing sectors such as cement, iron and steel should also be allowed to operate at 50% capacity,” said Soh. Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said automatic loan repayment moratoriums should be put in place immediately for businesses like restaurants. Industries Unite coordinator Datuk Irwin Cheong said along with automatic moratoriums, it was asking the government for a 50% reduction in utility bills for commercial rates and a six-month deferment of statutory obligations such as Employers Provident Fund and Social Welfare Organisation payment. (The Star)

KPKT to ensure credit community companies comply with existing laws

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) will ensure that the community credit sector or licensed money lenders comply with the provisions under the Moneylenders Act 1951 (Act 400). KPKT said regular inspections and monitoring would be carried out on community credit companies, as well as spot checks on premises suspected of committing offences under Act 400 or engaging in criminal offences such as fraud or violence against borrowers. The ministry had been collaborating with the police from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department since 2006 to curb the activities of unlicensed money lenders known as ‘Ah Longs’. Credit community companies have been operating in the country since 1951 under the Moneylenders Ordinance, which was established to regulate the sector through licensing and enforcement. According to the ministry, based on studies, observations and information obtained from the money lenders association, people prefer to take out loans at community credit companies because the procedures are less complicated compared to applying for loans from banks or other financial institutions. It added flexible and non-rigid loan amounts was also a crucial consideration, as they could borrow as low as RM200. (The Edge)

Health Ministry survey shows high number of health workers suffering from serious burnout

Exhaustion from long working hours and pandemic fatigue have caused a high number of health workers to suffer from severe burnout, the Ministry of Health said amid concerns about the mental health of its staff as they cope with the Covid-19 outbreak. The revelation followed a survey the ministry conducted on 893 health workers recently to look for signs of burnout, and if respondents felt they had adequate psychosocial support, most replied no. The ministry said over half of the respondents reported personal-related burnout, another 39.1% reported work-related burnout while 17.4% suffered from patient-related burnout. Personal-related burnout was found to be highest among state health workers and pharmacists, the study found. The most common factors causing the burnout were found to be high work pressure, uncertainty about how long the pandemic will last, shifts and adaptations for constantly changing standard operating procedures, disrupted career plans and problems balancing life and work. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress. To avoid exhaustion, health workers will be given unrecorded leave to rest or put on rotational shifts. The ministry said it will deploy a Psychological First Aid (PFA) to those showing early signs of burnout or depression and provide counselling. (Malay Mail)

Healthcare workers taking a break in PPE (Source: The Star)