PUTRAJAYA: The annual National Day parade – an event that draws thousands of Malaysians – will not be held this year but side programmes are likely to go on with standard operating procedure (SOP) in place, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Senior Minister said the 63rd National Day celebration would be void of a parade due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, he said other programmes related to the celebrations on Aug 31, including flying the Jalur Gemilang campaign, would proceed.
“For now, we have not scheduled for a Merdeka parade. This event involves large crowds, by the thousands.
“Social distancing, especially among the crowd will be hard to practise. So far, no permission has been given for big celebrations or parades,” he said yesterday.
Ismail Sabri said the Multimedia and Communications Minister would announce other programmes to be held in conjunction with National Day celebrations, as well as SOP that must be followed.
In view of the reopening of schools and universities, he said the government hoped to see airlines offering discounts or lower domestic fares so that it would not burden those who have to return for their studies.
He said the government was pleased that Malaysia Airlines has agreed to offer discounts to students, teachers and lecturers.
The decision came following a discussion with the airline’s chief executive officer Izham Ismail, who agreed to come up with the promotion, especially for these groups.
“I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Malaysia Airlines’ management team for offering
discounts to ease the burden of
students, parents, teachers and lecturers as schools and universities reopen. I hope other airlines will also bring down their fares,” he
Teachers and lecturers with public and private institutions of higher learning will enjoy a 20% discount for Malaysia Airlines’ domestic flights, booked between today and Aug 10, and valid for travel from July 10 until Nov 30.
The discount can be used for online reservations by inserting a promotion code, which will be announced via the Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry, respectively.For students who need to take a flight to return to school or campus, a 20% discount will be given to them through the MH Explorer programme. Membership registration can be done on Malaysia Airlines’ official website.
On another matter, Ismail Sabri said foreign spouses could enter Malaysia to be with their other half, who are ill, by presenting to the Immigration authorities official documents as proof of their partner’s health condition.
“If one is a holder of a spouse visa, then you can enter the country without having to apply to the Immigration,” he said.
“Otherwise, get documents from the hospital or doctor to support your application to travel into Malaysia. There is no issue for spouses in cases of ill health or death.”Ismail Sabri was commenting on a report that a Singaporean man pleaded to be allowed in to be with his ailing Malaysian wife.
According to the report, CA
Mahendran said he had been separated from his spouse for the past three months after both countries sealed their borders amid the pandemic.
A. Kavitha, 51, is a diabetic who needs medical treatment but is facing difficulties in walking and is living alone.
Mahendran claimed that although it was announced that foreign spouses were allowed to enter Malaysia with permission from the immigration, his attempts to get approval had not been successful.On Malaysians returning from abroad, Ismail Sabri said one out of 375 people who returned through Kuala Lumpur International Airport was found to be Covid-19 positive and had to be sent to a hospital.
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