By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 28: No action will be taken against holders of official passes, including work visas, employment passes and social visit passes, which expired during the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Conditional MCO (CMCO) period.
Senior Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob however emphasised that all pass holders may now make appointments to get their documents renewed at the Immigration Department if they intend to extend their stay.
“We are aware that due to Covid-19 and all the stages of MCO, all immigration offices were closed. So if their visas and passes have expired during that period, we will not take legal actions.
“But if they intend to continue to stay in Malaysia and now that the immigration offices are opened, they will have to make an appointment to renew their visa and pass,” he told a press conference on the CMCO at Putrajaya today.
Visa and pass holders, he explained will need to apply online to make an appointment with the Immigration Department to set a date for the renewal.
As for those whose visas and passes have expired and intend to return to their home country during this period, Ismail said they will be allowed to leave Malaysia without renewing their documents.
“When they reach the airport, just show the flight tickets and we will allow them to board the airplane even though their visa or pass has expired,” he added.
However, he pointed out that all valid pass holders who leave Malaysia will not be allowed back into the country due to the closed border policy in place during Covid-19 and MCO.
“For example, if an Indonesian worker with a valid permit chooses to go back return to their home country for Raya, he will not be allowed back into Malaysia.
“This is because Malaysia closed its border when the Covid-19 pandemic hit us. Foreigners are not allowed to enter Malaysia during this restriction period to ensure there are no imported case,” he said.
While Malaysia is concerned about foreigners especially from neighbouring countries using illegal routes (‘lorong tikus’) to enter the country, Ismail said Ops Benteng (Border Operation) was ongoing to tighten security along all Malaysian borders.
“Ops Benteng involves the Armed Forces, police, maritime agency as well as border control agencies. It is an integrated operations to enhance control at our borders especially illegal routes potentially used by outsiders and foreigners to enter the country illegally,” he added. — DayakDaily