How are Malaysian companies coping with the Movement Control order?

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The official first day since the Movement Control order was given by the Malaysian government is almost over. It’s quite surreal to imagine that almost all Malaysian employees are collectively working from home, enjoying the comfort of their couches and work stations or slowly realising that working from home is not their cup of tea.

Perhaps it’s still too soon to tell.

One thing for sure is that working from home still feels very much like working. Minus the requirement to wear ‘appropriate’ clothing and the distractions of office chatter, the workload remains the same, if not more.

At MARKETING Magazine, all of us are working remotely and our strategy for work consolidation is a one-hour daily Google Hangout (voice only). Tomorrow we’re trying out Zoom to see which works better, because why not?

Here’s how some of the other Malaysian companies are handling this unfamiliar situation that’s changing our working arrangements for the next 14 days.

McDonalds Malaysia

“Right now the head office has implemented work-from-home, and everyone is working remotely. At the restaurants, Dine-In is closed, and only Takeaway, Drive-Thru and Delivery are allowed. We highly recommend customers to utilise the Drive-Thru & Delivery services as they are the safest way to get food.” – Regional Director of Marketing, McDonalds; Eugene Lee

BFM 89.9

“All our teams have been split into editorial, news etc to come into the office in rotation because as a broadcasting company, we are part of essential services. We have a no guest policy, and are only conducting interviews over the phone which is working better for shorter interviews compared to longer ones. To avoid technical glitches such as dropped-calls we are mostly pre-recording our content before airing it as opposed to being fully live on-air. We’ve also created a BFM WhatsApp group for internal communication, which is actually something we’ve never had before.

There are some positives that we’ve seen come out of this WFH situation so far and one of it is it tells you that when push comes to shove, you can survive and it’s also been great to see people stepping up to do more than what they’re required to, in order to help their colleagues. Another interesting thing has been some of our colleagues realising just how much they hate working from home. For others, it’s been a good opportunity to reset and think creatively.” – General Manager, BFM; Meera Sivasothy


“We are in a complete lock down – with everybody working virtually. We’ve introduced a WFH etiquette to ensure people can acclimate quickly to WFH and to ensure productivity. We are also encouraging video meetings to bring better empathy and emotional energy into teamwork.

In order to help people maintain self discipline there are morning check-ins and evening check-out calls within individual teams. All the senior leaders who otherwise may just interact via WhatsApp and emails are encouraged to converge at least once via video calls. Apart from these we maintain consistent communication on WFH protocols as the situation evolves.” – Founder & Senior Partner, Entropia ; Prashant Kumar

IPG Mediabrands

“It was a fairly straightforward decision for us to implement full Work from Home (WFH) given the Movement Control order. From a business continuity standpoint, this was something we had been considering locally given the increasing global spread of the coronavirus.

WFH initiatives have been in place for several years, so most of our employees are equipped with the necessary tools and solutions to allow them to work remotely. We have of course not worked remotely en-masse, so this is unchartered territory for us. Encouragingly our team has rallied to get us ready across three key areas: Client preparedness, Tech Tools & Support and Internal Communication.

This is an incredibly uncertain time, with changes daily, so we continue to get support globally and regionally and lend learning across our offices. Our main objective is to be transparent about each situation that arises and have our lines of communication open at all time, both internally, and externally.” – Chief Executive Officer, IPG Mediabrands; Bala Pomaleh

Media Prima

“As an essential service provider to the nation, Media Prima will balance this responsibility with its responsibility towards its key asset, namely employees. The Media Prima MCO Response Plan will be implemented across the Group comprising, among others, rotational on-site and virtual operations, and on-site split teams operations. These measures are aimed towards reducing the risks of COVID-19 exposure to Media Prima employees while actively contributing to the social distancing efforts for the good of the community.” – Communications; Media Prima

Lion & Lion

‘Safety of our employees and partners is our first priority and out of an abundance of caution, we have asked all our Lion & Lion employees across 5 cities to start working remotely from this week until further notice. So far, we have no confirmed cases of employees with the virus, but we aim to curb any potential threat to our workforce and everyone around us by taking preventative measures.

This is an unprecedented change for us, as we move towards a more distributed workforce. We remain committed to delivering to our clients by leveraging technology to optimise remote work and ensuring our readiness to deliver at full capacity.” – CEO, Lion & Lion; Fredrik Gumpel

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