Opposition MPs slam Putrajaya for giving condos, apartments authority to demand Covid-19 testing on residents

Zurairi Ar
·3-min read
Earlier, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said management boards or committees of apartments and condominiums are permitted to demand tenants to undergo Covid-19 swab tests and provide them with the result, before letting them enter their homes. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Earlier, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said management boards or committees of apartments and condominiums are permitted to demand tenants to undergo Covid-19 swab tests and provide them with the result, before letting them enter their homes. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 ― Several Opposition MPs have slammed Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri today for the latter’s remark to allow apartments and condominiums to demand Covid-19 swab test and bar entry to residents who refuse to hand over their results.

According to them, allowing management committees and boards to do that would not only be discriminatory, but also putting burden on both management and residents who would be subjected to such tests at the cost of the roof over their heads.

“How would B40 residents who can’t afford [such tests] return home?” PKR’s Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil posted on Twitter, referring to bottom 40 per cent households who cannot afford expensive tests that run to hundreds of ringgit.

PKR’s Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil says the policy must be reviewed, if not it may discriminate against those who are needy. — Picture by Hari Anggara
PKR’s Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil says the policy must be reviewed, if not it may discriminate against those who are needy. — Picture by Hari Anggara

“This policy must be reviewed, if not it may discriminate against those who are needy.”

He also pointed out that such a policy can only be inserted into by-laws through an emergency general meeting, which itself cannot be held since most of the country is under the movement control order (MCO).

“If this is done without an EGM, tenants can challenge this. Is the minister even aware of this?” he asked, referring to the defence minister.

Similarly, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh also expressed her anger that Ismail has failed to turn to scientific method on Covid-19-related policies.

“Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate between owners and tenants, Malaysians and foreigners, voters and ministers.

“Don’t make announcements such as this that would burden a lot of tenants,” the DAP MP posted on Twitter.

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said this would burden a lot of tenants. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said this would burden a lot of tenants. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Her party-mate Charles Santiago also said that the decision is “wrong at many levels” as it discriminates.

“Covid-positive people and those quarantined will end up in the streets since there are no space in hospitals.

“Barring people from going to their own homes has no legal basis. Wake up,” the Klang MP posted on Twitter, tagging Ismail Sabri.

Earlier, Ismail Sabri said management boards or committees of apartments and condominiums are permitted to demand tenants to undergo Covid-19 swab tests and provide them with the result, before letting them enter their homes.

He said that such a rule is allowed in the interest of safety, despite there not being any official government policy on the matter, after he was informed that several residential building managements have made such a rule on tenants, especially foreigners, and asked if such practice is permitted.

Last year, a Kuala Lumpur condominium received public backlash after displaying a banner in its premises ordering foreign residents to undergo Covid-19 testing, or risk being barred from its grounds.

Several lawyers polled by Malay Mail then said that joint management committees cannot bar residents from entering their houses, or impose any requirements relating to Covid-19.

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