We’ve Had Five Different MCOs So Far, Here’s All of Them Explained

Goh Mooi Lim passing a pack of biscuit to his friend after authorities locked down the area to spread of the Copvid-19 at Selayang baru, AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star (31/3/2020)

Commonly referred to as a Movement Control Order (MCO) or Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) in Malay, the order has been implemented since March 18th 2020 and has seen different variations ever since.

In a bid to contain the pandemic, we’ve been living in restrictions ever since and numbers haven’t particularly stayed low too. With pretty much the whole country except for three states under some form of MCO, it feels like it has become a part of daily life as well and we too have no idea when we will see the end of it.

If you’re unfamiliar with the terms MCO, CMCO, EMCO, SEMCO and of course RMCO, you’re not alone as we’ve grown way past a single MCO. Unnecessary to say the least, here’s what each of them mean.

1) Movement Control Order (MCO)

What one would consider the “O.G.”, MCO was the very first version of all these lockdowns and was announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in March this year. This was due to end on April 14th but was then extended until the April 28th and then later May 12th.

All operations except for essential services had to be closed down at this time; interstate travel was not allowed unless if given a written police permit as an exception and only the head of families or one person from each family was allowed to leave home and buy essential or medical items. It also saw the introduction of the RM1000 fine for those who violated guidelines. 

Ops COVID-19 was also brought into palace, the first of many road block operations placed throughout the country at key travel points to monitor any travelers that would be violating the interstate travel guidelines. 

2) Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO)

It’s already in the name, with it being an enhanced or stricter version of the MCO. It was usually subjected to location for 14 days if a large cluster was detected and used to stop the virus from spreading out of those areas. 

The stricter lockdown forbids anyone from exiting their homes, forbids anyone entering from outside the area, shuts down all businesses and blocks all roads leading into the area. Food supplies will be given by authorities throughout the 14 days to residents and a medical base will be established within the area.

The EMCO was first implemented at two areas in Simpang Renggam in Johor on March 27th. It was later applied to other areas in Sungai Lui, Hulu Langat District, Selangor, Selayang and also Kuala Lumpur. It was then put in place and then extended until November 9th over several areas Sabah, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak in response to the spike post-Sabah elections.

3) Semi-Enhanced Movement Control Order (SEMCO)

A rather lighter version of EMCO, it was for small areas that had a cluster such as the Pudu area in Kuala Lumpur back in May 14th. Barbed wires were put up at Jalan Pudu, Jalan Kancil, Jalan Pasar, Jalan Landak, Lorong Brunei 2 and Lorong Brunei 3; several other small areas around Klang Valley has since been under EMCO and SEMCO.

4) Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO)

Announced on Labor Day, CMCO is a relaxation of regulations regarding MCO. The main goal was to reopen the national economy, because the fact is that no country could survive that survive an indefinite lockdown.

During this order, most economic sectors were allowed to operate while overserving business standard operating procedures such as social distancing and the use of the MySejahtera application. Sports was still largely prohibited along with any small group activity that involved more than 10 people. Interstate travel was still frowned upon and not allowed unless for work or returning after being stranded elsewhere before this.

CMCO had mixed reactions from state governments and had received backlash by politicians health experts and the general public over concerns of a possible resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia due to the seemingly reckless and unnecessary relaxation of the MCO.

Controversial calls such as the three person in vehicle rule and extension of it until December 31st in certain states has also all but assured the public’s confidence in the movement.

5) Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO)

ALOR GAJAH, 8 Jun — Perjalanan rentas negeri akan dibenarkan mulai Rabu ini kecuali di kawasan yang diisytiharkan sebagai Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Diperketatkan (PKPD). Ia merupakan antara beberapa kelonggaran yang dibenarkan ketika negara berada dalam fasa pemulihan COVID-19. Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bersyarat (PKPB) yang akan berakhir esok akan diganti dengan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Pemulihan (PKPP). Kelihatan kenderaan yang melalui sempadan Tampin-Pulau Sebang ketika tinjauan fotoBernama hari ini. — fotoBERNAMA (2020) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

Perhaps the most ideal of movement control orders would be the one to signify that things were starting to get better, RMCO was announced on June 10th and was supposed to last until August 31st but was later extended until 31stDecember. 

If implemented in an area, certain religious activities would be allowed again with some restrictions along with meetings, conventions and exhibitions allowed to carry on again. Schools, kindergartens and tuition centres would also be allowed to open; cinemas, seminars, hotels and pools among many other things would also be allowed.

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