The socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in Malaysia: Policy review and guidance for protecting the most vulnerable and supporting enterprises

The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved into health, socioeconomic and humanitarian crises of unprecedented scale and impact. To support the Malaysian Government’s efforts to address the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19, this paper pulls together data and information to serve as baselines and diagnostics for identifying those workers and enterprises most at risk and in need, so that their specific characteristics and vulnerabilities can be taken into account to more effectively design and deliver the stimulus measures. Within the United Nations Development System (UNDS), the International Labour Organization (ILO) is well placed in terms of its technical expertise and experiences and its normative labour standards to provide policy guidance to protect the most vulnerable workers and support enterprises. The paper has three main parts. Part 1 covers recent information on the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic and MCO and the Prihatin Stimulus Package to address these impacts. Part 2 of the paper provides baselines and diagnostics for improving policy decision-making. Part 3 provides guidance for policies in the immediate, recovery and longer-term.