No passenger flights from India since April 28, only cargo, says Transport Minister

PETALING JAYA: Only cargo flights from India have been permitted to enter Malaysia and passengers from the country have been barred from entering since April 28, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).

The Transport Minister said this was according to government instructions following a National Security Council meeting that decided that all passenger flights from and to the country of India are prohibited from entering Malaysia effective April 28.

"Only cargo flights will be permitted at this time. The MH-designated flights going viral on social media are all cargo-only flights.

"Flights on passenger aircraft are also empty of people and are used to carry freight comprising pharmaceutical goods, medical supplies, mobile phones, electrical components and courier packages," he said.

Dr Wee was responding to claims made on social media recently that there were four passenger flights from India that apparently touched down in KL International Airport (KLIA) on May 1.

He also said that converting passenger flights to cargo-only flights has been a practice for Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) for many months now due to the pandemic.

"The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), MASKargo under MAB and the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) will corroborate these facts," he added.

Dr Wee also said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had verified the Indian foreign worker with a valid pass entered Malaysia much earlier, on April 10.

He also said non-Malaysian travellers from India are not allowed to enter or even transit in Malaysia at present.

"However, exceptions will be made for Malaysian citizens transiting through Malaysia from India, without clearing Immigration and Customs.

"All crew (pilots, engineers and cabin crew) remain on board. MAB is also restricting ground maintenance personnel in India from entering the aircraft.

"Foreign workers holding temporary working visit passes, business workers and international students from India will be similarly restricted under the April 28 order."

Meanwhile, Dr Wee said Malaysians (students and workers), their families and non-Malaysian spouses returning from India are allowed back, with a 14-day mandatory quarantine at designated centres.

"For the record, after the National Security Council (MKN) meeting on April 28 chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin ended at 5pm, I organised a virtual meeting at 5.10pm and personally communicated with all stakeholders based on the outcome of the said meeting.

"While it is regrettable some misinformation had occurred on the status of these flights, I assure you that the government is aware of the concerns and situation in all our foreign neighbours and is taking the necessary steps to contain further transmissions in Malaysia," he said.

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