KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2– Restrictions on the entry of foreigners into Malaysia are made based on the scoring board of risk assessment matrix which can provide a clear picture of the risk from COVID-19 imported cases into the country.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said the criteria used in calculating the risk include the number of COVID-19 cases, death rate for one million people in the last 14 days and the death tolls as well as recovery index.
“These import cases have a big impact on the country because they used Malaysian facilities for treatment when they were actually infected abroad.
“This will disrupt the government’s healthcare services because the country’s main responsibility is to provide the best healthcare services including COVID-19 treatment to Malaysians and not foreigners entering the country,” he said at a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to a question from Dr Ong Kian Ming (PH-Bangi) who wanted to know the reason behind the blanket ban imposed in September on all citizens from countries with COVID-19 cases reached 150,000 cases including those with valid entry permits such as participants of Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme and expatriates.
Mohd Redzuan said the government’s decision to impose restrictions on 23 countries deemed high-risk in early September was an immediate measure as the government did not have sufficient data on the COVID-19 situation and control methods implemented in those countries at that time.
He said that the move was to protect Malaysians as it was feared that there would be spike in COVID-19 cases in those countries as well as risk of infection here.
“During the temporary ban, the government has obtained the latest information and re-evaluated the risks. Accordingly, on Sept 10, the government decided that expatriates in the Employment Pass 1 (EP) category and technical experts or skilled workers from 23 countries, be allowed to enter Malaysia.
“They are required to submit an application to the Immigration Department first and to submit supporting documents from the Malaysian Investment Development Board or the relevant ministries/ agencies. They are also subject to the mandatory quarantine order for 14 days at the quarantine station set by the government,” he said.
He said the government would continue to study and scrutinise the matter from time to time to allow entry from targeted countries using the travel bubble concept.