KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 — Come May 4, almost all economic sectors and businesses would be allowed to reopen subject to strict conditions in what is termed a conditional movement control order (CMCO), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

In his Labour Day address today, Muhyiddin said that the government can no longer afford to carry on with the extended movement control order (MCO) imposed on businesses, which has dealt a significant blow to the nation’s economy.

He said that the government has been suffering RM2.4 billion in losses daily during the MCO, adding that the losses to date are estimated at RM63 billion, with another RM35 billion to come, should the MCO be extended longer.

“So I realised that you are all worried brothers and sisters. I am too, and in some nations, it has already happened, whereby the number of Covid-19 cases again spiked exponentially after the lockdown ended. This, we must avoid.

“So I discussed in length about this matter in the Economic Action Council, the National Security Council meeting and in the Cabinet meeting. We must find a way to balance the need to heal the country’s economy and the need to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Based on advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH), which was based on collected data, and the best practice guide stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the government has decided to reopen economic sectors cautiously, by implementing stringent health standard operating procedures (SOPs). Beginning May 4, almost all economic sectors and business activities would be allowed to operate, subject to rules and SOPs set by the authorities,” Muhyiddin said.

He said that for the time being, all schools, colleges and universities would remain closed, and that a full list of businesses or activities which are not allowed to run, can be referred to via the National Security Council (NSC) website.

“The list would be updated from time to time, depending on the development of the Covid-19 infection cases,” he added.

The fourth phase of the MCO is scheduled to only end on May 12 this month.

The prime minister in his address on the eve of Ramadan also did not discount that the MCO could be extended again after May 12 to effectively flatten the Covid-19 infection curve.