News & Views


Posted on 31st March 2020

On 31 March 2020, the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within Infected Local Areas (No 2) Regulations 2020 pursuant to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (“Current Regulations”) were gazetted by the Malaysian Health Minister. The Current Regulations are an extension and tightening of the previous regulations gazetted to effect a Movement Control Order made pursuant to the same legislation. The restrictions under the Current Regulations are aimed at further curbing the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Malaysia. The previous regulations expired on 31st. March 2020 and the Current Regulations take effect from 1st April 2020 to 14th April 2020.

Under the Current Regulations, people are effectively only permitted to leave their homes, “(a) to purchase food, daily necessities, medicine or dietary supplement; (b) to supply or deliver food, daily necessities, medicine or dietary supplement;  (c) to seek healthcare or medical services;   (d) to perform any official duty; or (e) to perform any duty in relation to any essential services.”

The permitted “essential services” are provided in the Schedule of the Current Regulations to include:

“1. Food, 2. Water, 3. Energy, 4. Communication and internet, 5. Security and defence, 6. Solid waste and public cleansing, management and sewerage, 7. Healthcare and medical including dietary supplement,  8. Banking and finance, 9. E-commerce, and 10. Logistics confined to the provision of essential services”.

In addition to the above, notwithstanding the permitted activities, travel for the permitted activities is restricted to a radius of not more than 10 kilometres from a person’s residence, or to a place nearest to his residence, and “he shall not be accompanied by any other person, unless it is reasonably necessary for him to be accompanied by any other person”.

The Current Regulations also permits movement “to carry out any works on any infrastructure related to any essential services which if not carried out would affect the provision of the essential services” and “any works on any infrastructure which if not carried out would affect the safety and the stability of the infrastructure”. This provision seems to allow for movement related to the maintenance and repair of infrastructure that was not provided for under the previous regulations.

Prior written permission of the police officer in charge of the police station nearest to the residence of such person may be obtained for movement of a special and particular reason that does not fulfil the permitted perimeters provided in the Current Regulations. As with the previous regulations, Breach of the Current Regulations is an offence “and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.”

The Current Regulations marks a significant tightening of the previous regulations.  The Schedule of essential services under the previous regulations included 22 services which has now been cut by more than half to the 10 essential services permitted under the Current Regulations. Postal services, hotels and accommodations, transport by land, water and air as well as port, dock and airport services are among the services that have been removed from the list.

The Current Regulations also removes loopholes that existed in the previous regulations. The previous regulations did not expressly limit travel to places providing essential services for the purpose of obtaining essential services only. The net effect of the Current Regulations is to restrict travel to places providing essential services only for the purposes of obtaining such essential services. 

Whether the new 10km perimeter and one person per vehicle restriction imposed under the Current Regulations can be practically enforced  by the authorities remains to be seen.

David Soong, Partner, RLSE

Recent posts



Subscribe RSS Feed

RSS Feed
* indicates required

Ally Law