Just 4.7% of Malaysian firms surveyed say they could survive more than six months if they continue to provide paid staff leave during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Department of Statistics' Special survey on effects of COVID-19 on companies and business firms (round 1)whether they provide fully-paid or half-paid leave to employees, 53.4% say they will only be able to survive for one to two months. 

At the same time, about one-fourth of them (25.4%) could last between three to six months while 16.5% lasted less than one month. 

67.8% of firms had no source of income during the MCO

Apart from the above, close to seven in 10 of the respondents (67.8%) said they had no source of income during the MCO period. Others found different sources of income:

  • 12.3% found income through online sales/services
  • 9.8% found it through on-premise sales/physical shop setups
  • 15.4% turned to other sources of income from the above

What was the impact on employees during the MCO period?

A majority of firms surveyed resorted to putting employees on full paid leave (35.6%), followed by work-from-home arrangements (33.5%).

Next, came unpaid leave for staff (16.5%), and then arrangements to work half days/a reduction in work hours or days (13.2%).

On the lowest end of the spectrum was employee termination, which 3.8% of companies surveyed had to resort to during the MCO.

Common challenges faced by firms during the MCO

Employee payouts came out as the top issue/challenge faced by close to eight in 10 (76.6%) of respondents, while 65.5% grappled with a lack of customers.

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VIew the summarised infographic below:

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Profile of respondents

Of the 4,094 firms surveyed, the highest percentage was made up of micro-sized ones (43.4%), followed by small-sized firms (40.4%) and at the lower end, medium and large-sized companies (9.1% and 7.2% respectively).


Photo / iStock