On March 18 2020 (Wednesday), Malaysia became the latest country to begin a movement control order (MCO), essentially requiring everyone to stay at home, non-essential business premises to close.
As part of the MCO announcement, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement outlining the list of essential and non-essential services that were allowed to operate. A PDF document of the detailed list of services is attached in the statement. This list was published on 18 March, the day the restriction came into effect.
How home services was affected in Malaysia by the MCO
With a short time to prepare and react to the 18 March movement control, there was understandable confusion and uncertainty as to what home services were allowed and what was not, for example renovation works or home maintenance.
On one hand, our customers were contacting us, worried that they would not be able to get professional help for urgent cases such as plumbing or electricals. Many homeowners delayed their bookings for aircon servicing, interior design, renovations and other services. However, there was a growing demand for office and home disinfecting services.
On the other hand, our contractors who were trying to do the work for homeowners were reporting that they were getting stopped by police roadblocks, or getting stopped at the condo guard house, and made to turn back. This meant that many homeowners did not get access to the services that were initially promised.
Getting clarification from the government
In order to reassure our customers that certain services could proceed as normal, as well as support our service professionals to deliver these services, we sought clarification from the National Security Council, as well as the Ministry of Trade.
On 21 March 2020 (Saturday), we received confirmation from the National Security Council that Recommend.my is allowed to operate as normal during the MCO. However, the only home services that can be delivered for the period of 14 April – 28 Apr 2020 are as follows:
- Home cleaning
- Home disinfecting
- Office disinfecting
- Electrical and wiring services
- Water-related fixed (i.e. plumbing)
How we are responding to COVID-19 and the Movement Control Order
Our first and foremost priority is to perform our civic duties and help achieve the objectives of the MCO. That is, to stay at home throughout the MCO period, reduce the spread of COVID-19, and keep our people safe.
But, there remains a need for essential services to keep running, as outlined in the statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. Our platform is uniquely positioned to support this effort, as many of our service professionals are in the cleaning, electrical and plumbing industries.
At the same time, we also know that hundreds of thousands of Home Maintenance, Home Improvement, and Home-based service professionals are being impacted. These are hard-working professionals across industries such as interior design and renovation, handymen, home bakers, caterers, photographers, event planners and many, many more. Many will not be able to withstand more than 30 days without work.
Our efforts will concentrate on ensuring the delivery of essential services during the MCO, while helping service professionals to “keep the lights on” until the MCO period ends. These efforts are outlined as follows:
Ramping up of basic services allowed during the MCO
Including cleaning, disinfecting electricals, wiring, and plumbing services, to ensure no household is left out
Enabling pre-booking of home services
Customers are encouraged to book and pre-pay their services in advance, to be delivered after the MCO. Learn more
Waiving platform fees to service professionals
All pre-booked home services can be picked up by service professionals for minimum platform fee. Learn more
Offering free sign up with no usage charges to new service professionals
Free credits to help as many SMEs get through the MCO period. Learn more
Equip service professionals with confirmation letter
To reduce delays from roadblocks or condo management, we are helping our pros show that their services are allowed within MCO guidelines. Contact Aiman to get a copy for your business (subject to verification)
Taking necessary hygiene precautions
Social distancing of 1m, regular hand washing, wearing a mask, and regular temperature screening.
Looking after our communities
The movement control order has put enormous strain on homeowners as well as service providers. But, the goal is one that we all agree on; to slow down the spread of coronavirus, and protect the safety and wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our communities.
At the same time, by pre-booking your home services in advance, you are helping us extend a lifeline to the hard-working professionals responsible for keeping your homes clean and well-maintained.
Together, we can do it!