KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — The Malaysian government will prohibit from September 7 the entry of foreign nationals from India, Indonesia, and the Philippines who are expatriate workers, students, or permanent residents in Malaysia.
Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob did not specify why those three countries were chosen, simply saying that Putrajaya has decided to block entry to foreigners with long-term passes from those Asian nations because of a surge of Covid-19 cases in several countries.
“Before this, permanent residents were allowed in, as well as those under the Malaysia My Second Home programme, but now, for those three countries, we don’t allow them in,” Ismail Sabri told a press conference today.
“All expatriates [from those three countries], including EP1 professionals with a professional visit pass, are also not allowed entry.
“Resident passes for the partners of Malaysian citizens and their children — when we previously announced two to three weeks ago that they could apply for long-term passes when they arrive at our country — for these three countries, we will also not allow entry,” the minister added.
Ismail Sabri added that students from India, Indonesia, and the Philippines who are pursuing their studies in Malaysia would not be allowed to continue their classes in Malaysia.
He also said Malaysia was currently studying the need to impose similar travel restrictions on foreign nationals from other countries, after the Ministry of Health (MOH) warned of a possible rise in coronavirus cases during the winter season.
“But this is still under consideration. Now, we focus on the three countries that show a surge of Covid-19 cases,” Ismail Sabri said.
According to Worldometer, India has the third highest number of Covid-19 cases globally at almost 3.7 million cases, topped by the United States at 6.2 million and Brazil at 3.9 million cases respectively.
The Philippines has the 22nd highest number of official coronavirus cases in the world at 220,819 cases, followed by Indonesia in the 23rd spot at 174,796 cases. Other countries recording a greater number of Covid-19 cases than those two Southeast Asian neighbouring nations are Russia, Peru, South Africa, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Iraq.