Nationwide Lockdown Torments Malaysia’s Economy
As of Tuesday (6/1), Malaysia locks down again for the second time. The lockdown will last for about two weeks until Monday (6/14). On Thursday (5/27), Malaysia reached its highest recorded daily transmission of COVID-19 with 7,857 cases and 59 deaths, making Malaysia the country with the highest daily COVID-19 infection cases in Southeast Asia. It is suspected that the spike in cases occurred because of the emergence of new variants of COVID-19 and the large number of residents who gathered during the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday last May in which many violations of the COVID-19 protocol were not carefully monitored. In response to the emergency, Prime Minister of Malaysia, Muhyiddin Yassin said on Tuesday (6/1), "With the development of the daily spike in infection cases, the ability of hospitals across the country to accommodate COVID-19 patients is becoming increasingly limited". A strict lockdown that applies to all social and economic sectors will be enforced so that all public spaces and non-essential commercial areas must be closed during the period of lockdown. The Malaysian government only allowed 17 essential service sectors, including health care, telecommunications and media, food and beverage, utilities, and banking to operate, and closed all malls. However this time, there is a bit of leeway in the lockdown. In each house, only two people are allowed out to do essential things and they are only allowed to travel within a radius of 10 kilometers from their respective residences. Yassin stated that, with this policy, the government through the Ministry of Finance would provide subsidies or social assistance for residents and small merchants as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Malaysia's Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, has declared that the country's economic growth projections for 2021 may be lowered as a result