Coronavirus Shutdown in Malaysia is Severely Impacting Cross-border Businesses

As the Coronavirus pandemic rapidly spread its wings all across the world, from east to west, and north to south, more countries are now joining to announce the complete lockdown. On March 11, the WHO (World Health Organization) declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic. And since then, people in many parts of the world are forced to stay inside their homes.

Talking about the numbers, the deadly COVID-19 virus has already affected over 175 countries and claimed more than 20,000 lives, as per the latest reports. Although Europe is the continent that reports the most cases, coronavirus is now gradually taking a toll on Asian countries as well. As per the latest data till 26th March, Italy alone has reported more than 74,000 coronavirus infected cases out of which over 7,000 people have lost their lives. While in Malaysia there are close to 2,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and twenty deaths, which is highest in Southeast Asia.

Although the step of complete lockdown may have affected almost all the countries in some way or the other, Malaysia is among the ones who are going under severe economic consequences due to the same. Yes, you read it right. Many people are forced to shut their businesses, small and big, that are causing them several financial crises, especially for people who are completely dependent on it.

Since the issuance of the lockdown order on the night of March 16, people of Malaysia are told to stay inside home till the end of March. Foreigners, daily workers, business people, and many other people living in Singapore and suburbs are facing the most difficult due to the closure of the borders.

Many businesses in Malaysia, having cross-border deals, are disrupted due to border restrictions. They are almost on the verge of their survival. According to experts, this may have a serious impact on Malaysia and many other Asian countries with a similar lockdown in the coming times.

These business people are now demanding to call off the complete lockdown measure taken by the Malaysian government. Instead of the binary lockdown, they are raising their voice to allow at least essential cross-border businesses to take place. Although they are aware of all the risks associated with it, they should be allowed to continue their business for the daily bread and butter.

Although Malaysian President Muhyiddin Yassin has earlier said, “The purpose of the order is not for you to go back to your hometowns, to attend functions, go shopping, go for walks in parks or visit holiday spots.” Many of them are not happy with this decision.

As per the media reports, tourism is also among the most affected sectors in the country post the complete shutdowns. Further, businesses associated with resorts, and/or dealing with cross-border orders are restricted to stay inside their homes without any proper availability of essential goods and services.

Up until now, the “movement control order” that has been announced till March 31 is now reportedly been extended up to at least April 14, seeing the continuous risks. However, just like earlier, several key services related to healthcare, banking, law enforcement, transportation, and food will remain open.

With the continuous efforts by the Malaysian government to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), it will likely to get the positive results in the coming days. However, the government must also take immediate actions and measures to allow cross-border businesses to operate without any hassles. The administration needs to think about its citizens who are struggling in this severe time. It is for the benefit of the people of Malaysia and its economy as a whole.