TWO Opposition MPs have urged the government to waive mandatory quarantine fees for low-income Johoreans working in Singapore.
Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasrullah Md Nasir pointed out that there were jobless Malaysians stuck in Singapore after the borders were closed on March 18 with the imposition of the movement control order (MCO).
He also said there were Malaysians who chose not to return because they could not cross the Causeway on foot.
“These people are the elderly, women and children, ” he told reporters in Parliament yesterday.
He also said that the maximum subsidised quarantine fee of RM2,100 or 44.7% of the total bill was a burden to poor Malaysians.
At the same time, Akmal questioned why the Johor state government would not bear quarantine costs for poor Malaysians like how the Sarawak state government was doing.
“Why is Sarawak still subsidising quarantine costs for those returning from overseas? If the Federal Government is refusing to bear the quarantine costs, why wouldn’t the Johor state government take up that responsibility? Don’t punish others for the failure of some to abide by home quarantine rules, ” he added.
Pulai MP Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub pointed out that the majority of Malaysians stuck in Singapore were motorcycle riders, and he claimed that there were 300,000 of them crossing over daily.
He said the Opposition was merely requesting the government to bear the quarantine costs as these were Malaysians making a living in Singapore.
“They are from the poor group. I hope the government will consider waiving the quarantine costs for them, ” he added.
On July 29, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said quarantine charges covered hotel room costs and three meals per day.
He said the estimated cost for quarantine at designated stations was RM4,700 per person.
While Malaysians enjoyed a 44.7% subsidy, Ismail Sabri said foreigners who were allowed to return to Malaysia would have to bear the full cost of the quarantine.
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