Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has painted a grim picture for Malaysians should another full lockdown is imposed on economic activities like the government did early last year.
Ismail Sabri who is also defence minister said that if the government impose another full-scale lockdown – a complete economic shutdown, 2.8 million Malaysians may risk losing their jobs. On top of that, another 2.5 million Malaysians will be facing a loss of income if another MCO as strict as last year is imposed to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
He told Malay Mail that based on estimations, B40 group would be affected the most by the full-scale lockdown
“The B40 group would lose an estimated RM6.45 billion a month, with their average household income of RM2,400.”
Meanwhile, according to a report from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, 13,445 companies have permanently closed down since the initial MCO in March until October last year.
“This means that many workers have lost their jobs. This is one of the effects that the government has to consider before making any decision,” he said it caused public alarm and panic buying.
Malaysia is now under a second MCO where Putrajaya allows five essential economic sectors to fully operate this time. This is to prevent a full-fledged impact the lockdown will have on the economy.
Commenting on the rumours on social media over past few days that the government would impose a full lockdown from February 4, he said it caused public alarm and panic buying.
“On Monday, the Health director-general hinted that on February 4, it is very likely that the conditional movement control order (CMCO) will be implemented again. The announcement was greeted with various reactions with some agreeing and some disagreeing.”
“Some suggested that the total lockdown be introduced, similar to the first MCO, by closing all business activities and sitting at home. But there are those who do not agree, especially the micro-traders who will be affected,” Ismail explained.
Therefore, he stressed that any decision on the matter must take into account both lives and livelihoods of Malaysians. It would also be based on the Health Ministry’s recommendations and discussed at the level of the National Security Council.