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KUALA LUMPUR (12 Jan 2021) – Following the recent announcement of a new Movement Control Order (MCO), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) issued a press release identifying five essential economic sectors that were allowed to operate during the lockdown.

The two-week limited lockdown that was announced by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister of Malaysia, starts from 13 January 2021 to 26 January 2021 in the hopes to further contain the spread of Coronavirus infections in the country.

The five essential industries that are allowed to operate during this period include factories & manufacturing, construction, services, distribution businesses and plantations & commodities.

Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Minister of International Trade and Industry said via the press release that the government has allowed these industries to operate in order to ensure economic recovery, strengthen business stability, deter high unemployment rates among Malaysians and secure basic & critical needs for Malaysians through the MCO period.

“The six MCO-imposed states are the main drivers for the country’s economic activity and a major contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) accounting for 66.3% of the total GDP. Selangor contributes 24.2% while Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Pulau Pinang, Sabah and Melaka contribute 16.9%, 9.4%, 6.7%, 6% and 3.1% respectively,” he said.

He added, “This action will be able to have a positive impact, especially in the government’s efforts to ensure the country’s economic growth, local investment of funds and the sustainability of small & medium enterprises (SME). Among the important considerations also taken into account by the government is the need to ensure the stability of the country’s export activities as Malaysia is one of the key countries in the global supply chain eco-system.”

Below is MITI’s full list of essential economic sectors that are allowed to operate during the MCO:

  1. Factories and manufacturing
  2. Aerospace including MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul)
  3. Automotive (repair and maintenance only)

(Note: The initial list as of January 10 had stated automotive manufacturing and after-sales services, but was updated on January 12 to be only for automotive repair and maintenance).

  1. Food, beverages and its chain
  2. Packaging and printing
  3. Household products, self-care goods (FMCG — fast-moving consumer goods — soap and others) and detergents including its chain
  4. Healthcare and medicine including dietary supplements
  5. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and fire safety equipment
  6. Components for medical tools
  7. Electrical and electronics
  8. Oil and gas
  9. Petrochemicals and petrochemical products
  10. Chemical products

13.Machines and tools

  1. Ceramics (ceramics as moulds for glove manufacturing)
  2. Iron and steel
  3. Textile (involving PPE production)
  4. Furniture sector
  5. Production, refining, storage, supply and distribution of fuel and lubricants


  1. Construction
  2. Construction:
  3. Maintenance and critical repair works
  4. Main works to build public infrastructure

Iii. Building construction works that provide complete worker accommodations at the construction site or workers placed at Centralised Labour Quarters (CLQ)


  1. Services
  2. Financial services and its chain
  3. Financial institutions (Banking, insurance, takaful and other entities that are licenced, approved or registered by Bank Negara Malaysia)

Ii. Capital market entities that are licenced, registered or supervised by the Securities Commission Malaysia

  1. Local government and municipal services
  2. Pawning services (pajak gadai)/community credit (registered money-lender companies)
  3. Solid waste management / sewerage

iii. Public cleaning

  1. Cleaning of premises and sanitisation
  2. Telecommunications and digital infrastructure including ICT services and global business services (GBS)
  3. E-commerce and its chain including e-marketplace services, digital payments and local e-dagang internet centres
  4. Hotel and accommodation
  5. Agriculture, aquaculture and livestock sector including veterinary services:
  6. Management of farms/ swallow farms/ horses/ animal processing plants/ slaughter houses/ livestock/ factories for livestock feed/ supplies such as vaccines/ livestock management/ pet stores (operations to shift livestock is at night)
  7. Disease control and supervision of production of livestock, livestock input and products related to the livestock industry (including export and import) and

iii. Health management, diagnosis of illness and treatment of animals

  1. Utilities (water and electricity)
  2. Professional services (including accountants/ lawyers/ auditors/ engineers/ architects), scientific (including R&D) and technical (including maintenance)
  3. Security services
  4. Security and defence
  5. Land, water and air transportation
  6. Port, dock and airport services and undertakings, including stevedorage and moving of cargo, pilotage, storage or bulking of commodities (Perkhidmatan dan pengusahaan pelabuhan, limbungan dan lapangan terbang, termasuk pemunggahan dan pemindahan kargo, pemaliman, penyimpanan atau pemukalan komoditi.)


  1. Distribution business (Perdagangan pengedaran)
  2. Warehousing and logistics
  3. Services/Sales/Distribution of Food and Beverages
  4. Retail/ distribution/ wholesale


  1. Plantations and commodities
  2. Agriculture, aquaculture and livestock and its chain
  3. Plantation and commodities and its chain


  1. Others
  2. Any services, works, industries and businesses as determined by the health minister after discussions with the authorities supervising that service, work, industry and business.
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