KUALA LUMPUR: Large parts of Malaysia’s manufacturing sector will be allowed to keep working, with reduced workforce capacity, during a strict coronavirus lockdown to be imposed from tomorrow, the defence and international trade ministries said yesterday.
Relatively unscathed during much of last year, the country has seen a very steep increase in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks and recorded five straight days of record daily infection counts this week, prompting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to announce the lockdown from June 1-14.
However, many sectors will be allowed to keep working.
Among the manufacturing sectors allowed to operate with 60 per cent of the workforce are those producing personal protective equipment including rubber gloves, electrical and electronics, oil and gas including petrochemicals, and chemical products, the International Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
Other manufacturing sectors that can run are food and beverages, aerospace, packaging and printing, health and medical care, personal care and cleaning supplies, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a news briefing.
“We hope that the sectors allowed to open will follow instructions given by the government because from the complaints I have received on social media, I was informed that there are employers who force their workers to (go to) work, more than the 60pc allowed,” Ismail said.
Palm oil and rubber plantations, as well as agriculture, fishery and livestock are also allowed to operate during the two-week period, including the supply chains that support the industries, he said.