30,000 Malaysian businesses have folded up since movement curbs in March

KUALA LUMPUR – More than 30,000 businesses have folded up in Malaysia since the government first imposed movement curbs in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperation Ministry (Medac) had said.

Malaysia imposed the movement control order (MCO) on March 18, shutting down most businesses, malls, restaurants and social gatherings for about three months to June 9.

Only essential workers such as health workers and those delivering food to homes were allowed to move around freely. Restaurants were limited to serve only takeaway purchases.

A more relaxed partial lockdown was started on June 9, but by then most of these companies failed to revive their operations, Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini news site on Wednesday (Nov 11).

The highest number of business failures occurred in August – six months after the MCO was first imposed – with 17,800 businesses shut permanently, he said.

From March 18 when the strict MCO was imposed to June 9, when the so-called Recovery MCO was put in place, 9,675 business operations closed down.

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi said the ministry conducted two online surveys from April 10 to April 17 and from July 15 to July 17 – during the initial MCO and the following recovery period.

The survey found 8.85 percent of owners ended their businesses during the initial MCO period, while 1.39 per cent made the same move during the recovery period.

It was also found that micro-entrepreneurs made up the majority of the failed businesses, or over 70 per cent of those who closed their businesses.

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