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Covid-19

General understanding on the movement control order (mco)

a) Scope of the MCO
The Movement Control Order (MCO) has been announced by the Prime

Minister on 16 March 2020. The MCO takes effect from 18 March 2020 until 31 March 2020, and was extended from 1 April 2020 to 14 April 2020 with the publication of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Declaration of Infected Local Areas) (Extension) Order 2020 on 26 March 2020. The MCO imposes:

  1. (i)  Restriction on unnecessary movement and public gatherings including religious, sporting, social and cultural activities;

  2. (ii)  Restriction on Malaysians from travelling abroad;

  3. (iii)  Restriction on foreign nationals from coming into Malaysia;

  4. (iv)  Closure of all government and private pre-schools, schools, boarding schools, international schools and pre-universities;

  5. (v)  Closure of all public and private higher education institutions; and

  6. (vi)  Closure of all government and private premises except for “essential services” as defined in the Schedule to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020.

The National Security Council has also allowed several “non-essential” services to remain open and operational. These include manufacturing sectors that manufacture critical products to continue manufacturing operations for the period 18 to 14 April 2020. Other “non-essential” services may be opened only with prior written approval of the Director General of Health.

b) Legal consequences under the Prevention & Control of Infectious Diseases Act, the Regulations and the Directions issued in the event of a breach of the MCO

Pursuant to Section 11 (5) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act, read together with Section 24 of the same Act, any person who violates the MCO shall be liable on conviction:

  1. (i)  in respect of a first offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to fine or to both;

  2. (ii)  in respect of a second or subsequent offence, to imprisonment not exceeding five years or to fine or to both;

  3. (iii)  in respect of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding RM200 for every day during which such offence continues.

“Non-essential” businesses that open their premises during the MCO period in contravention of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 may be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.