On 16 March 2020, the Prime Minister of Malaysia announced that the Government will implement a Movement Control Order (‘MCO’) throughout Malaysia from 18 to 31 March 2020 (‘Relevant Period’).
Thereafter, the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Declaration of Infected Local Areas) Order 2020
(the ‘Order’) and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020
(the ‘Regulations’) were issued to carry into effect the measures announced under the MCO.
Since then, the National Security Council (‘NSC’) and several Ministries and Government Departments have issued clarifications and frequently asked questions (‘FAQ’) to clarify certain aspects of the MCO and to address issues that arise from the MCO insofar as they affect the relevant Ministries and departments.
Among the clarifications and FAQs are the following –
Below is a summary of some noteworthy issues contained in some of the clarifications and FAQs that may be of interest to commercial enterprises and businesses.
This statement includes two appendices, namely Lampiran A and Lampiran B, that sets out the components of the respective sectors that comprise essential services listed in the Regulations and the components of the non-essential services that are allowed to operate during the Relevant Period.
The full text of the NSC Statement is available here
and our English translation of Lampiran A and Lampiran B to the NSC Statement is available here
In respect of deadlines that fall within the Relevant Period, such as the payment deadline for payment of income tax instalments under CP500 or withholding tax under the Income Tax Act 1967, real property gains tax under the Real Property Gains Tax Act 1976, the IRB has extended the payment deadline to 30 April 2020.
The deadline for payment of stamp duty under notices of assessments issued pursuant to the Stamp Act 1949 has been extended to 30 April 2020. However, it should be noted that the scope of this extension under FAQ No. D7 of the IRB FAQs is not entirely clear.
The deadline for filing of returns under section 21B of the Real Property Gains Tax Act 1976 that fall due during the Relevant Period has been extended to 30 April 2020.
The full text of the IRB FAQs is available here
The KKR FAQs confirms that all construction works are not permitted under the MCO and must therefore be stopped during the Relevant Period, except for critical works which may be carried out during that period with the recommendation of the persons specified in FAQ No. 5 of the KKR FAQs. FAQ No. 4 of the KKR FAQs provides examples of critical works. These include traffic management and the repair of slopes, potholes and traffic lights.
FAQ No. 6 of the KKR FAQs clarifies that the Government will not be responsible for any losses by reason of the Covid-19 outbreak as it is an event that is beyond the control of the Government. FAQ No. 7 clarifies that the question as to whether the projects that are affected will be given an extension of time will depend on the terms of the relevant contract.
The full text of the KKR FAQs is available here
The MOT FAQs clarify that the service counters at PUSPAKOM will remain open during the Relevant Period.
The MOT FAQs also clarify that e-hailing services will continue as usual.
FAQ No. 5 states that lorries transporting constriction materials will be prohibited but other types of lorries such as those transporting essential goods and food will be allowed to operate during the Relevant Period.
FAQ No. 9 states that the all ports will remain operational except for cruise ship terminals.
FAQ No. 11 states that domestic and international flights will continue to operate during the Relevant Period, subject to conditions and travel restrictions imposed by the Government. There is no directive prohibiting airline companies from operating. The movement restriction only involves citizens leaving the country, while non-citizens are allowed to leave.
It is clarified in FAQ No. 12 that scheduled and non-scheduled commercial flights are allowed to operate during the Relevant Period, subject to conditions and travel restrictions imposed by the government from time to time. No flight bans have been imposed whilst FAQ No. 13 clarifies that cargo flights are allowed to operate during the Relevant Period.
FAQ No. 14 explains that private jet companies (non-revenue private flights/business flights) may continue to operate. However, non-citizens entering the country and citizens leaving the country are subject to travel restrictions for entry of non-citizens and conditions imposed under the MCO.
The full text of the MOT FAQs is available here
MOE FAQs, MOHE FAQs and NRD FAQs
The full text of the MOE FAQs, MOHE FAQs and NRD FAQs are available here