Embassies must care for citizens at Selangor Mansion, Malayan Mansion

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

FOREIGN embassies are responsible for providing the necessary essentials including food for the their citizens living at Selangor Mansion dan Malayan Mansion, which are currently under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday revealed that 97% of the residents of both buildings are foreigners. It is estimated that there are 6,000 residents at the two towers, which have been condoned off to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Thus, the daily needs including food are under the responsibility of each embassy. Nevertheless, if they require any assistance, they can contact the MCO operation centre at the location,” he said in Putrajaya yesterday.

The government imposed the EMCO on the Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion after 15 confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported at the two buildings located along Jalan Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur (KL).

There are about 6,000 residents in 365 residential and commercial units in the buildings. But some reports suggest the number of occupants at the towers, which are popular for citizens from India, could reach over 7,000 people.

The two buildings became the fourth area under the EMCO after Simpang Renggam in Kluang, Johor; Sungai Lui in Hulu Langat, Selangor; and Menara City One in Jalan Munshi Abdullah, KL.

Under the EMCO, residents are barred from leaving the buildings and visitors are prohibited from entering the structures. Medical officers have been busy since Tuesday, testing the residents for carriers of the SARs-like pathogen.

The government has not dismissed the possibility of moving the residents to another location due to the deplorable living conditions of the residents.

Meanwhile, Malaysia and Singapore are working to get better information on the former’s citizens in the republic to avoid a mad rush into Johor.

Malaysia hopes there will be a list of Malaysians who will be crossing the border to improve surveillance and enhance social distancing practices at checkpoints.

“We cannot have 5,000-10,000 people returning at once. They need an official letter to come home, so there should be some information on the number of applications made so far,” Ismail Sabri said.

Thousands of Malaysians had queued in long lines at the Woodlands immigration checkpoint this week, many wearing face masks, as they wait to cross into Malaysia via the Causeway. It was reported that 10% of 11,698 Malaysians who have crossed the border since April 1 are workers.

About 45,000 Malaysians commute to Singapore daily on average for work. Authorities, however, do not have an exact figure on the number of workers who will return to Malaysia or remain in Singapore.

The information collected will help Putrajaya arrange for logistics and accommodation as Malaysians returning to the country are subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

“There have been claims made on social media that those in Johor are placed in dormitories (instead of hotels). That was merely a transit and they have since been moved to designated hotels where they will serve their two-week quarantine. We’ve identified 14 hotels in Johor.

“The arrangement is a bit different compared to those who arrive at airports because there are things like flight schedules which allow us to determine the number that is coming in,” Ismail Sabri said.

The Johor state government on Monday appealed to Singapore to allow Malaysians in the republic to return home in stages.

Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the movement of 1,000-2,000 Malaysians each day would be a “great assistance” to the state government.