PROTON adapting to Movement Control Order

The Government imposed Movement Control Order (MCO), which began on 18 March 2020, has caused major changes to the operations for all companies. While seeking to ensure its daily operations continue to run smoothly, PROTON has adhered to the requirements of the MCO in order to help break the COVID-19 chain of infection in Malaysia. At the same time, the Company has also obtained approval from the relevant agencies for essential operations to be carried out by essential employees.

Safety of employees is the main priority
The health and safety of PROTON’s employees is of utmost importance. With a staffing force of close to 10,000 people, monitoring the health status of everybody is a daily task requiring cooperation from all levels. During the MCO, the health status of every employee is monitored twice daily with plans in place to isolate and treat those suspected of being infected with the virus. This includes weekends and takes in to account where the staff are based during the MCO as well as their active work status.

Prior to the MCO, all staff movement outside the company was limited from the beginning of February 2020. Furthermore, those who travelled were required to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine upon their return including being screened for the virus before and after the quarantine period.

“When the news of the COVID-19 virus made headlines, PROTON put in to effect an action plan to mitigate against infection. We have been diligent in our efforts and even before the MCO was announced, we cancelled all overseas business travel and enforced work from home operations for a few departments with staff who were quarantined for possible infections. Our main priority is the health and safety of our staff and we are hopeful of emerging from this situation unscathed,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.

Approval obtained for essential company operations to continue
While adhering to the strict parameters of the MCO means all PROTON facilities have been shut down from 18 March, certain job functions within PROTON still require to be performed onsite. For instance, maintenance of PROTON’s production facilities have to be kept going while a few service centres earmarked to service the fleet of PROTON cars used by government agencies remain operational.

To ensure staff members do not go against the rules of the MCO, PROTON obtained approvals to issue letters for specific people to perform limited company operation.

Operations for other areas within the Company continue unabated. Individual departments are required to have daily meetings with department heads updating their team members on management decisions and apportioning work with daily deliverables. All of it is done via video conferencing ensuring all employees can meet remotely.

“While we are cognisant of the need to adhere to the MCO, PROTON has obtained approval from the authorities for a small number of its staff to continue working at specific locations to perform essential services. As for our other staff members, we have asked them to adapt their work practices to the MCO rules. Thanks to video conferencing and messaging technology, meetings and discussions can be held from anywhere with an Internet connection so we are hopeful of keeping disruptions to our business operations to a minimum level,” said Dato’ Radzaif Mohamed, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.

Supporting the fight against COVID-19
To support Malaysia’s front liners in the fight against COVID-19, PROTON has loaned the Ministry of Health 50 units of the Proton X70. The vehicles will be used to shuttle health workers to and from work as well as send them to any virus hotspots in the country requiring immediate attention.

“As a Malaysian car manufacturer and significant contributor to the local automotive industry, PROTON sees it as a duty to assist the government in its battle against the spread of COVID-19. The frontliners are especially in our thoughts and we felt that this was an area that we could offer assistance with very quickly. For now, this is the most direct assistance we can give but we are also looking at other avenues of support as well,” said Dr Li Chunrong.

The effort was welcomed by the Ministry of Health as it helps alleviate some of their challenges in terms of logistics. “The Ministry of Health is thankful to PROTON for its contribution of vehicles. It is a deeply meaningful gesture and specifically assists the Malaysian government’s efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dato’ Sri Dr Chen Chaw Min, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health.

The company while acknowledging the scale of the crisis, is confident the country will be able to navigate itself to a safe outcome. “These are trying times but we are certain that if we pull together, Malaysia will come out of this strong. PROTON will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with all Malaysians as we see this through”, added Li.