Right move to ban nationals from high risk Covid-19 countries

Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok

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KUCHING, Sept 4: The ban on long term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines shows that Malaysia is taking the right move to prevent the second or third wave of Covid-19 infection.

This is the view of Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching chairman Sim Kiang Chiok when he said that welcoming foreign workers from countries with high rates of Covid-19 cases would put the country at risk.

“These countries have increased infection (cases) and for their nationals to come into our country under long term stay might increase the risk of further infection to our local community,” he asserted.

He was voicing his agreement with the announcement made by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Sept 1 that long term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines would be barred from entering Malaysia effective Sept 7.

The restrictions apply to permanent residents, Malaysia My Second Home pass holders, expatriates, spousal visa holders and foreign students.

Sim, who is also Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Stakan branch chairman noted that in such a situation where no new intakes of legal foreign workers are allowed, industries that require high manpower will need to make do with existing human resources.

“Now is also the time for those industries that can be more automated with machines to start considering to upgrade and use less human inputs in their production process,” he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, Sim reiterated that these restrictions would be expected to be flexible in covering against those countries with increase Covid-19 infection in recent days.

“And our greatest hope in removing these restrictions will be for medical science to find a cure or a vaccine against the virus.

“The good news is that human trials of the vaccines in several countries are being carried out and our best hope is that these vaccines will be effective and can be used by all, hopefully by next year,” he said. —DayakDaily