KUALA LUMPUR (May 18): The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said it supports the proposal for a more stringent Movement Control Order (MCO) in states which report a surge in Covid-19 infections, but is against a blanket lockdown.
 
"MEF supports the implementation of a stricter MCO to flatten the curve of new infections, particularly in Selangor which recently recorded more than 1,000 new cases per day," said MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman.

However, he urged the authorities not to implement a full lockdown of the economy, saying such intervention would further stifle economic recovery.

Yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said his ministry was considering imposing a full-scale MCO in Selangor if Covid-19 cases in the state continued to rise. He said the ministry should propose stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the state if the infections could not be contained.

In a statement today, Syed Hussain said MEF is concerned over the rise in daily infections, especially in Selangor, the state with the most number of new cases.

"While the impact of a blanket MCO would be devastating to business and the economy, it is understood that there is a dire need to curb the rising number of new daily Covid-19 infections.

"Any decision towards this end must also take into consideration the interest of business and the preservation of livelihoods," the MEF president said.

Syed Hussain said the current nationwide MCO is estimated to cost the nation about RM300 million per day, compared with RM2.4 billion a day during the first MCO last year when there was a total lockdown.

He added: "As responsible employers and citizens, we are doing our utmost to comply with the prescribed SOPs to curb the spread of Covid-19. Employers need to play a positive role to ensure that the health and safety of employees are safeguarded."

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