The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the Malaysian economy as well as many other countries around the world. Industries such as travel, leisure & hospitality, tourism, airline, retail and many more are severely affected by the pandemic.  

Grant Thornton in Malaysia will constantly update relevant information including the advice to businesses to help you navigate through these difficult times.

To effectively control the current COVID-19 situation, the Malaysian government has implemented different-level Movement Control Order (MCO), ranging from high-risk to low-risk areas: Movement Control Order; Recovery MCO; Conditional MCO; Enhanced MCO; and Targeted Enhanced MCO.

  • Phase 1 – MCO 1.0 from 18th March 2020 till 3rd May 2020
  • Phase 2 - Conditional MCO from 4th May 2020 till 9th June 2020
  • Phase 3 - Recovery MCO from 10th June till 31st December 2020
  • Phase 4 – CMCO in the areas with high COVID-19 cases from 14th December 2020 till 31st  December 2020
  • Phase 5 – RMCO nationwide from 1st January 2021 till 31st March 2021; certain states with high COVID-19 cases were placed under MCO 2.0 from  13th January 2021 till 4th March 2021
  • Current Measure – Full MCO 3.0 nationwide from 1st to 28th of June 2021

To help the people and businesses during lockdowns, the Malaysian government had introduced several stimulus packages. 

On 27 February 2020, the Malaysian government had introduced the Economic Stimulus Package 2020 worth RM20 billion to ensure the economic risks associated with the outbreak is effectively addressed. On 16 March 2020, the Prime Minister had announced additional measures to enhance the Economic Stimulus Package 2020. 

A second economic stimulus package worth RM250 billion was announced by on 27 March 2020 to strengthen the economy, as well as necessary measures to provide assistance to all Malaysians who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Further to the earlier Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package, the Malaysian government announced additional measures valued at RM10 billion on 6 April 2020, aimed at helping businesses in particular SMEs to pull through this challenging period. 

On June 9, 2020, Malaysia issued its fourth economic stimulus package, named the PENJANA, which is primarily aimed at helping businesses recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The package is valued at 35 billion ringgit. Some of the measures issued in PENJANA include new tax incentives, financial assistance for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and job protection initiatives.

On January 18, 2021, Malaysia’s government launched PERMAI, a stimulus package valued at 15 billion ringgit aimed at providing vital support to businesses through various incentives in addition to strengthening the country’s welfare programs.

PEMERKASA+ is a response to the national lockdown measures, which were enforced from June 1, 2021, focused on three aspects: increase public healthcare capacity, continuing welfare programs, and supporting businesses. This includes 2.1 billion ringgit in grants to small businesses, loan moratoriums, and wage subsidies. The country has rolled out over 340 billion ringgit in stimulus measures to cushion the economic impact caused by the pandemic. 

On June 28, 2021, Malaysia announced its latest economic stimulus package, named PEMULIH, in response to the indefinite extension of the national lockdown. The 150 billion-ringgit package includes 10 billion ringgit in direct- fiscal spending by the government in the form of wage subsidies, unemployment assistance, and cash aid.


While there may be some industries that are more directly impacted by the virus – including health and aged care, education and tourism – and no way to predict how many people may contract the virus, all industries will face issues around supply chain, workforce and cash flow.

With specialists across business risk, business continuity, workforce, tax, compliance, supply chain and restructuring, we are here to help. This may be an assessment of your risk and cash flow, identifying alternative suppliers, or preparation for meetings with suppliers, banks or the related government agency to access additional support or extensions.

Keep up to date with the latest alerts

Business continuity plans and crisis management

The current situation continues to evolve and businesses will need to remain agile and alert. A good starting point on creating a response to COVID-19 is the World Health Organisation’s technical guidance and the Department of Disease Control which has released guidelines on how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Some areas to consider include:

Your people

  • Have measures been put in place to support good hygiene and health for your people, including restrictions to international travel, advice on attending client meetings, site visits and events?
  • Do you have a clearly communicated policy on what your people should do if they are feeling unwell – including seeking medical attention and isolation? What will this mean for colleagues and clients if you suspect a case of COVID-19?

Review your customers and suppliers

  • Do you need to inform your clients and customers of any changes to your services? This could include different opening times, delays in deliveries or deadlines.
  • Do you have plans in place to ensure regular and clear communications to clients about your policies and updates on changes to service?
  • With international travel and export impacted by COVID-19, have you assessed the strength of your supply chain and do you have alternatives in place if you need to source another provider?
  • Which customers will need extended terms from you and which suppliers might require different arrangements? Liaise with your suppliers to determine how they can support you.

Cash flow and financing

  • Any changes or delays in service can have an impact on cash flow. Do you need to have discussions with clients or suppliers about renegotiating terms?
  • Your banker will be invaluable in helping you over the next couple of months. Plan early if you are going to need additional funding to get restarted. Make sure your banker is across your plans and understands where you are going.

Check your insurance cover

  • Re-assessing insurance coverage – businesses may have insurance coverage to protect certain assets, however, they should ensure they are covered for the business interruption expenses that natural disasters can cause.

Stakeholder management

  • During these difficult periods, proactive stakeholder management becomes extremely important, in particular with financiers, shareholders, customers and employees. Communicate with these groups early and often!

Get advice and look after yourself and your people

  • In addition to ensuring the health and safety of yourself and your people, we strongly encourage you to speak to your advisors about how your business can respond to COVID-19.

As always, we are here to support you in times of difficulty. With a multidisciplinary network of specialists, there are many ways we can assist you now and into the future.