No discrimination against illegal immigrants in combating COVID-19 – Adham Baba


The government has refuted a report of an international television channel which alleged Malaysia discriminated against illegal immigrants when enforcing the Movement Control Order (MCO) in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the allegation was baseless as Malaysia introduced MCO to save everybody from COVID-19, regardless of whether the person is a citizen or not.

“The Al Jazeera report which mentioned occurrence of discrimination was incorrect. As the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 was to combat COVID-19 for all.

“So we need to ensure all who are detected need to be screened and isolated,” he told reporters after a ceremony to present face masks and antiseptic soaps at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tun Habab yesterday.

He was commenting on a 20-minute Al Jazeera documentary entitled “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown” which claimed discrimination against illegal immigrants in Malaysia’s COVID-19 prevention efforts.  

When asked on the action to be taken against the television channel, Dr Adham said the government would correct the perception through Senior Minister (Security Cluster), Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“We need to correct it through our spoksman, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri who is the government spokesman heading the ministerial meeting on COVID-19,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked to comment on the forensic report on a fire at Women’s Ward 1 of Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) on June 28, Dr Adham said the ministry is still waiting for the report from the state Fire and Rescue Department.

However, during his visit to the hospital last week, he was informed that the fire could be due to a wiring problem at one of the panels in the ward.

“We will be receiving the report soon. It needs time as the forensic report is more accurate,” he said.