Govt reiterates it will only bear costs to quarantine Malaysian citizens returning from abroad

Putrajaya, 14 May 2020- The government has reiterated that it is only footing the bill for Malaysian citizens from overseas to undergo compulsory quarantine upon their return to the country.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, however, said that non-Malaysians, including the spouses of citizens, needed to bear the costs themselves.

He said foreign spouses and family members who are permanent residents or holders of long-term social passes must pay for the quarantine.

“As announced, the government will take care of the costs to quarantine Malaysian citizens returning from overseas. If their spouse or family are non-citizens, they will have to incur the cost.

“However, we have been told that there are some who refuse to pay their quarantine bills,” he said in a daily briefing on Thursday (May 14).

The minister, however, did not give a figure as to how many had refused to pay.

Ismail Sabri said the special Cabinet committee on non-health issues related to the movement control order (MCO) has decided for the Immigration Department to take necessary action, including revoking the Immigration facilities that they have been enjoying.

“Their permanent resident status or long-term social visit pass will not be revoked.

“But if before this, they are allowed to renew their pass once every two or three years, they may have to do so every three months or so until they pay up.

“The Attorney General’s Chambers will also look into appropriate legal action that can be taken against these individuals,” he said.

Since April 3, the government has imposed a compulsory quarantine for Malaysians who returned from abroad.

The cost will be taken care of by the government but foreigners will have to foot their own bill.

A total of 33,807 Malaysian citizens had been quarantined since April 3 and to date, 26,121 individuals had completed the process and were allowed to return home.

-The Star