Last January. 11, 2020, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of Malaysia announced a new mandate imposing a 14-day Movement Control Order (MCO) in several states. As it is, the country has been facing a third wave of the pandemic that has already overwhelmed its health systems. In the words of the Prime Minister, the number of daily new infection cases has already reached a breaking point, The new mandate will end on January 26 but by that time there is certainty that a vaccination program will roll out starting February.

In knowing many have reservations about the safety of the vaccine, Prime Minister Yassin said he will be among the first to receive a shot as a way to convince those who doubt the effectiveness of the vaccine. According to the Malaysian leader, the government is on course to acquire enough Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines to administer to at least 80% of the country’s population.

States Under New MCO Mandate

People in five states namely Johor, Melaka, Penang, Sabah and Selangor as well as in the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya are currently under orders to not hold social gatherings or dine at eateries. Moreover, only two persons per household can go out and travel to buy groceries, but only in supermarkets or stores located within a 10-kilometer radius from their respective homes.

In moving forward, the Malaysian PM has received funding support through the 2021 Budget passed by Malaysia’s lawmakers in November 2020. According to PM Yassin, the funds provided by the budget is of utmost importance in seeing through the programs and initiatives that the government will launch to secure the people’s safety, welfare and well-being above everything else. Most especially that of the country’s health workers. The recent spike in active case actually includes more than a thousand frontline workers who tested positive for the virus.

Movements of People in Areas Under Recovery and Conditional MCO

In the meantime, people, including foreigners residing in other states remain under a period of Recovery MCO or Conditional MCO; both haVE been extended to last up to March 31, 2021.

Movements of those living in the states of Perlis and Sarawak are considered as still under an economic recovery phase. Those leaving their homes must still adhere to RMCO rules, particularly social distancing and wearing of face mask. Nonetheless and even if businesses, including cinemas are allowed to resume operations, many prefer to voluntarily restrict their movements by staying or working from home, and going out only to worship or only when necessary.

In Pahang, which is under the less restrictive Conditional MCO, the management of Resorts World Genting gave notice in its website that the casino resort has suspended some attractions and canceled some activities, as well as reduced operating capacity in those that remain open.

Although tourism activities have been allowed to resume in CMCO states, the Resorts World Genting Highlands said that they predict a further decline in numbers during the new 2-week MCO imposed in other states. Besides, the company also revealed that several workers in their staff canteen had tested COVID-19 positive last week.

Actually, even the Department of Communications and Media of Malaysia has noted that as Malaysians restricted their movements under varying MCO mandates, they noted a surge in online gambling activities. Apparently, that is one of several reasons why the only legal gambling establishment in Malaysia is still seeing a continuing decline. Popular online mobile gambling casino sites like mega888 are able to provide non-Muslim Malaysians with gambling eentertainment that they can access from their homes and through their smartphones.