Background. The worldwide economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is comparable with the largest disastrous events of modern human history, such as the first and second world wars. This study investigated the nationwide impact of the pandemic on the local Malaysian firms.
Methods. A cross-sectional, online survey was carried out in East and West Malaysia by inviting the Malaysian firms’ executives to fill in a questionnaire that was adopted from previous similar studies in other countries. The final questionnaire included 16 questions distributed in three categories. The executives of firms were contacted through email and social media. SSPS was used to analyse the collected data.
Results. A total of 379 responses were received. Nearly 42% of firms reported a small impact with some difficulties in business operations but overall stability. Approximately 32% of businesses were severely impacted, and operations were barely maintained. Six percent of the firms had no significant difficulties and 5.3% reported that the pandemic provided new opportunities for development.
Conclusion. Almost one-third of the Malaysian firms are affected significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The business operation of half of the Malaysian firms is also affected to some extent. Supportive policies are needed to reduce the companies’ manufacturing costs and assist them in surviving and eventually returning to normal business operations.