Featuring Datuk Seri Stewart LaBrooy, Georg Chmiel, Datuk Eric Chong, Dato Seri Garry Chua, Chan Ai CHing, Hanson Lau, Colin Tan, Iris Tan, Shirley Tay.
Given the skyrocketing Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, there was no other solution in sight except for the watershed of announcing the next Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) that came into effect from June 1, 2021 nationwide.
Will the economy be able to bear the brunt of a lockdown similar to the inaugural MCO that came into effect in March 2020 and which is now being prolonged indefinitely. Industry veterans share their respective point-of-views.
By Yvonne Yoong
“MCO 3.0 has arrived, and this lockdown looks like it going to be as severe as the first back on 18th March 2020. We were doing so well in the beginning until we took some serious missteps which saw caseloads skyrocket.
The only way out of this mess is to ramp up the vaccination program and make it the main focus of government in the coming months. In addition we should be expanding the list of who qualify as front liners and provide them priority in getting the dose first. These should include Teachers, Delivery Personnel in the food delivery service and those in the logistics sector, staff and tenants in shopping malls, Hotel staff and any persons who come in daily contact with hundreds of people in their line of duty. More MCO’s won’t help – what we need is to provide our citizens immunity from this terrible disease.”
There is no doubt that the last 15 months of varying degrees of lockdown have been transformational for the retail industry in Malaysia. When assessing the impact, there are short term and long term effects to be differentiated.
While in short term prolonged full lockdowns while important to fight COVID have an adverse impact on some of the retail industry, such significant events certainly
transform the retail industry for the long term.
Since the first full lockdown in early 2020, demand has gone more online as Malaysian buyers have grown accustomed to acquiring goods and services via online channels across all industries. Largest change was in the logistical processes where apps like GRAB gained market share from traditional channels and allowed retail to continue to sell. Same happened in the real estate industry, where players like Juwai IQI have experienced exceptional growth (293% year on year) by shifting the whole property marketing and purchase or rental processes online.