PUTRAJAYA: Foreign chefs and maids are still barred from entering the country due to the Covid-19 entry ban on non-Malaysians, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Senior Minister (Security) said that although many owners of eateries have pleaded for foreign cooks to be allowed into the country, Malaysia’s safety is more important.
“I am aware of the predicament faced by restaurant owners, especially those selling Thai cuisine. Many of their workers returned to their countries during the pandemic and are now stuck there. However, these employers have a shortage of workers but still have to pay their rent.
“There is also the case of families who hire maids. Many went back home to Indonesia or the Philippines and are now stranded. We understand the situation, but the country’s health and safety is more important than anything else.
“There has been a rise in import cases. This also happens in countries that seemingly have a stabilisation in the number of cases, but are now seeing an increase.
“This is due to allowing more outsiders to enter.
“So, we have decided that our borders will be tightened, ” said Ismail Sabri in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
He said Malaysia will only allow foreigners under exempted categories which have been agreed by the government in the past.
To a query by the press, Ismail Sabri said it is not necessary for businesses to record temperatures of their customers.
He said only names and contact details have to be registered for the purpose contact tracing, should the necessity arise.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri also stressed that businesses must stick to the 12am curfew, or risk facing action.
“I was made aware of convenience stores operating for 24 hours, even though they are supposed to close at 12am.
“Some of them probably think they can be like clinics or hospitals operating for 24 hours.
“But those places are essential, people fall sick at any time. But buying cigarettes is not, ” he said.
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