By Xavier Kong
THE National Security Council (NSC) has issued a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the Movement Control Order (MCO) that was announced on March 16 by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The FAQ addressed questions about travelling for work and leisure, holiday plans as well as operations of restaurants and eateries.
The FAQ clarified that parties and weddings should be postponed, though engagements are still allowed with the caveat that there will not be many people attending. There was no specific number given.
It was also clarified that the MCO is in effect at all times, though short errands and a quick trip for more groceries is still allowed. However, Malaysians are advised to cancel any holiday plans they may have made within the country, considering the MCO has forbidden any non-essential services. Those seeking their money back from hotels are asked to speak to their respective hotels directly.
International spouses are allowed to follow their Malaysian partner back into Malaysia, but have to provide proof of marriage, as well as undergo health screening and a self-quarantine. This also applies to students studying abroad, whereby all Malaysians are allowed to return during the MCO, as long as they comply with the health screening and self-quarantine.
For permanent residents and foreign workers, only those working in essential services are allowed to enter Malaysia during the MCO period, and they have to carry a letter from their employer certifying this, which has to be presented to immigration officers upon entry.
In the case of Malaysians working in neighbouring countries, commuting across the border is not allowed under the MCO. As such, the government has requested that those affected by this inform their employers of this issue. In connection to this, the Singapore government is currently scrambling to find accommodation for the 300,000 affected.
International students, along with students staying at dormitories, are required to return to their residences for the duration of the MCO, with international students advised to return to their home countries for the duration of the control order.
However, those who decide to stay in Malaysia and reside at the dormitories are required to report to the management of their institutions and adhere to the control order.
Restaurants and eateries will be allowed to operate, but are only allowed to provide take-away or delivery fulfilment services through certain companies such as GrabFood and FoodPanda.
Public transportation services will continue to operate for the duration of the control order as well. E-hailing services Grab, Mula, MyCar, and Dacsee have also expressed that they will continue operating during the period.
Non-Covid-19-related deaths allow for close family members and the mosque or surau congregation to conduct solat jenazah. Tahlil prayers are not allowed.– March 17, 2020