Ismail Sabri: Sabah held no talks with federal govt over decision to let Chinese workers in

Yiswaree Palansamy
·2-min read
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob pointed out that at the federal level, the government is still closing its doors to foreign workers, with the exception of Senior Management Employment Pass 1 (EP1) category expatriates. — Bernama pic
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob pointed out that at the federal level, the government is still closing its doors to foreign workers, with the exception of Senior Management Employment Pass 1 (EP1) category expatriates. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — The Sabah state government’s decision to allow workers from China back into the state was never discussed with Putrajaya, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

Ismail who is also Defence Minister, said that at the federal government level, borders remain shut for foreigners.

“On the Sabah government allowing Chinese nationals to enter, this matter was never discussed in the Special Meeting of Minister.

“For us in the National Security Council (NSC), the federal levels, under Act 342, we still shut our borders to foreigners from entering into our country, especially if it involves tourists, and likewise with workers,” he said, referring to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342). 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal yesterday announced that his state is opening its doors again to foreign workers from China to jumpstart the construction industry in the state which has stalled due to the imposition of the movement control order (MCO).

He said that the state is opening its air, land and sea borders to Chinese nationals.

The state is also welcoming domestic tourists, exempting visitors from having to go through a swab test or quarantine.

“They have to fill up a health declaration form and comply with all SOP but we welcome all Immigration Department pass holders from West Malaysia, Sarawak and Labuan to holiday in Sabah,” he said.

During the press conference today, Ismail said that currently the government only allows the EP1 category workers, and they must first do a Covid-19 swab test in their home country, as well as upon arriving in Malaysia, and would only be given access if they test negative.

He added that though China is a huge nation, the government still assumes the country as being high risk, adding that the government, however, is discussing the possibility of categorising the Chinese provinces according to its safety levels, before considering an entry for Chinese nationals.

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