M’sia’s extended CMCO wields another blow to MICE sector

Sultan Abdul Samad Building in front of Independence Square along Jalan Raja quiet during Movement Control Orde

As of November 9, the Conditional Movement Control Oder (CMCO) has been extended on all states in Peninsular Malaysia except Kelantan, Perlis and Pahang until December 6.

The CMCO which was supposed to end on November 9 for Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya and Sabah has also been extended until December 6.

Deserted roads in Kuala Lumpur (pictured) during CMCO

These measures have been imposed by the government to stem the spike of Covid-19 positive cases in these states by reducing movement and travel among the community. Interdistrict and interstate travel are prohibited, except for emergencies and with permission from authorities.

As such, MICE events and all types of social gatherings are also not allowed.

However, the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) is appealing to the government to ease restrictions imposed on business events in areas under the CMCO.

Its president, Francis Teo, said: “With the MICE SOPs already approved by the Malaysian National Security Council (NSC), business events should be allowed to continue to be organised, adjusting participant numbers according to alert levels and venue size. By allowing small groups to meet, the industry can maintain the minimum numbers needed to preserve and support the entire business events ecosystem.”

Through a recent survey of those involved in the business events industry, MACEOS revealed that business events industry players had experienced revenue losses of RM2.3 billion, a drop of 90 per cent since the first Movement Control Order in Malaysia was imposed in March.

A total of 5,610 employees have been laid off since March, equivalent to 17 per cent of the total industry workforce.

He added that although pivoting to virtual and hybrid events was the only other option during both lockdowns, only 13 per cent of industry players were able to do so successfully, while others are still struggling.

Teo shared: “Looking at the current situation, a full recovery of the business events industry is unlikely to happen before 3Q2021.”

On November 8, Malaysia recorded 852 new Covid-19 infections and four fatalities, bringing the death toll to 286. As of November 8, a total of 40,209 cases have been reported in Malaysia.

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