KUALA LUMPUR | Businesses will again be given just hours to respond to fresh standard operating procedures for the renewed movement control order, which Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said he will disclose at 5pm tomorrow.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the MCO will be re-enforced in all Federal Territories, Penang, Johor, Melaka, Selangor and Sabah from 12.01am of January 13, or just seven hours from Ismail’s scheduled announcement.

“Today, the prime minister announced that the standard operating procedures for the MCO will be tightened.

“However, the detailed SOPs will be announced by me at tomorrow’s press conference at 5pm,” he said in a statement today.

According to Ismail Sabri, the Health Ministry, International Trade and Industry Ministry, and Works Ministry will also make separate SOP announcements for sectors under their purview.

The special address on the MCO had been anticipated for days after Ismail Sabri announced last week that Muhyiddin would deliver it today.

As expected, Muhyiddin announced this evening that the economically-devastating MCO would return in five states and three federal territories due to Malaysia’s runaway Covid-19 infection rate.

The prime minister disclosed that the country’s health system was near “breaking point” and justified the renewed MCO as necessary to prevent spiralling Covid-19 infections from completely overwhelming Malaysia’s public hospitals.

Aside from the MCO, he also announced that the conditional movement control order (CMCO) would be placed on Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan.

Perlis and Sarawak will return to the recovery movement control order (RMCO).

However, interstate travel will be prohibited nationwide.