The restrictions will apply to permanent residents, MM2H pass holders, visit pass holders, spouses of Malaysian citizens and foreign students
by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by BERNAMA
THE government will not allow long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines to enter Malaysia effective Sept 7, following a spike in Covid-19 cases in their countries.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) said the decision was made to prevent the spread of more imported cases in the country.
He said the new restrictions will apply to those holding permanent resident status, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) pass holders, expatriates and professional visit pass holders, spouses of Malaysian citizens and foreign students.
“The special Cabinet committee is aware of the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the countries of India, Indonesia and the Philippines — hence the decision to impose these entry restrictions.
“The decision was made following advice from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to ensure Covid-19 is contained in the country,” he said in his Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) press conference yesterday.
Ismail Sabri said the government will continue monitoring the Covid-19 situation in other countries and may impose the same restrictions on citizens of other countries that are recording a spike in Covid-19 cases.
Ismail Sabri said the MoH and the legal affairs division of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) are also expected to refine the amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).
“The government is studying to amend Act 342. We are aware that many have given their opinion to increase the compound to RM10,000.
“However, according to the Act 342, we have no choice because the compound can only be charged to a maximum of RM1,000,” he said.
He said the government will follow all the necessary procedures to amend this Act, through Cabinet meetings and the Parliament’s approval.
As for the Covid-19 fund (Tabung Covid-19) which was launched on March 11, Ismail Sabri said it has received a contribution of RM44.52 million to date.
He said among the contributors to the fund are royal institutions, private companies and generous Malaysians.
“Of this amount, RM31.5 million has been spent on the Food Basket Programme amounting to RM25.23 million, Special Death Management Assistance (RM595,000) and Special Income Loss (RM5.67 million) involving 4,134 recipients,” he added.
He said the closing date for the Covid-19 Special Assistance application has been extended following the extension of the RMCO period until Dec 31.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the Targeted Enhanced MCO in Amanjaya, Kedah, which was enforced on Aug 28, will end on Sept 10.
He said as of Aug 31, the MoH screened 12,533 out of 22,360 residents involving three zones, namely Kenanga, Mawar and Melur.
“I hope the residents in these areas can comply with the standard operating procedures and regulations that are issued by the government,” he added.
Speaking on the RMCO violations, Ismail Sabri said 673 individuals were compounded on Aug 31, which was the largest number of offenders till date.
He added that most of those detained were involved in the pub and nightclub activities.
“We can see that activities in nightclubs still continue. Even though we don’t allow them to open, many still flout the law. However, we will take sterner action against them after this,” he said.
He added that the Royal Malaysia Police will soon cooperate with local state authorities during raids on entertainment centres.