Malaysia is one of the four Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries that have officially entered the second quarter of recession in 2020. The declining economy in these four countries is due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) engulfing the world since the beginning of the year.
As of August 30, 2020, there has been an average of 50,428 COVID-19 cases in ASEAN countries and the average performance of these countries’ stock index from January 2020 until August 30, 2020 is -12.51%, according to a study by Lifepal.co.id. The Indonesia-based insurance marketplace analyzed data on the movement of the stock price index of ASEAN member countries and the growth of COVID-19 cases in these countries except Brunei Darussalam, which is one of the sovereign countries that does not have a stock exchange.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also triggered a negative growth in ASEAN countries’ stock exchange. In Southeast Asia, the Malaysian stock exchange, also known as Burma Malaysia or Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE), is showing the highest performance.
Bursa Malaysia shows a promising performance among other ASEAN countries even though its growth is still negative, data from a recent Lifepal.co.id research shows. From January 1, 2020 to August 30, 2020, Bursa Malaysia’s performance is only decreasing at a rate of -3.86 percent.
Malaysia’s great performance owes its victory to the reopening of economic activity and social gatherings since June 10, 2020. When the country was in lockdown, it received praise as to how it handled COVID-19 and after it decided to lift lockdown restrictions, the KLSE Index experienced a two-week drop before returning to its next rebound.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, 73, the country continues to practice preventive, anticipatory, and curative measures, in terms of fighting the pandemic using the Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) mechanism. The Malaysian government is creating an economic policy package by allocating 250 million Ringgit to stimulate businesses as well as subsidizing health workers, security, immigration and customs, among others.
PKP is also supported by law in the regulations of Akta Pencegahan dan Pengawalan Penyakit Berjangkit 1988 and Akta Polis 1967. If the law is violated, it sentences people to months in jail or having to pay a fee of RM 1000.