Malaysia: Other ministries responsible for travel permits too, Azmin snaps back

  • THE Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) is not solely responsible for approving all travel permits, with other ministries similarly accountable, said minister Mohamed Azmin Ali on 3 Jun 21.
  • Faced with criticism over the lagging CIMS system, approval delays and even questions as to what kind of total lockdown the government was implementing when so many approvals were issued, he said a number of ministries were responsible for approving travel permits for companies and workers in essential businesses under their respective jurisdictions.
  • As of 3 Jun 21, a total of 586,308 companies and 10.2 million workers have registered with CIMS 3.0.
  • Of this, letters of approval to operate have been issued through CIMS to 128,150 companies, covering 1.57 million workers nationwide.
  • Azmin said Miti acknowledged complaints and accusations that the CIMS portal had been compromised, granting approval for non-essential companies to operate during the lockdown.
  • Miti’s CIMS 3.0 portal is the sole gateway for all essential economic sectors to apply for work and travel approvals, except for the Transport Ministry, which is using Sistem Maklumat Industri Logistik, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry which has another system, and Bank Negara Malaysia, which issues approval letters for the financial and banking sector.
  • Miti only approves permits for the manufacturing sector and related services that fall under its jurisdiction.
  • There are 17 other essential economic sectors allowed to operate at 60% manpower capacity during the total lockdown from 1-14 Jun 21.
  • Critics have also slammed the inconsistencies in policies regarding the Miti platform which caused considerable confusion.
  • On 30 May 21, two days before the lockdown began, National Security Council (NSC) spokesman and Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said companies in essential sectors allowed to operate must obtain approval letters from the relevant ministry. The letter could be downloaded from Miti’s CIMS 3.0 portal.
  • However, businesses were thrown into confusion as they rushed to figure out from which ministry to obtain permission.
  • The next day, one day before the lockdown, the NSC announced that the approval system would revert to CIMS 3.0.
  • It also required companies in essential sectors submit fresh applications, and that letters previously issued by Miti for previous lockdowns would expire the following day, prompting a rush to access the system, which subsequently crashed.
  • With the decision to push approvals back to the respective ministries, there have been complaints on delays in getting letters through the CIMS 3.0, as well as other changes to procedures.
  • Some problems include delays in readying QR codes for the facilities and property management sector, and a new rule for small hawkers and traders to only show their permits from local councils.

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