PUTRAJAYA: The 2.5 million documented foreigners in the country will be included in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, says the Home Minister.
Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said his ministry would assist the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) by verifying their documents.
“The fact that they have documents makes it viable for us to help them to be vaccinated. It is important that they, too, be part of the inoculation programme so that the herd immunity can be achieved,” he told a press conference yesterday.
Hamzah said the foreigners would also include those serving prison sentences as well as those in immigration detention depots.
“This is possible because we have their record and we know of their whereabouts,” he said.
There are 10,815 foreign inmates and 19,873 in immigration depots.
Foreigners with work permits (PLKS) make up the bulk of the number of foreigners holding valid documents with 1,403,409 people.
According to the Home Ministry’s records, there are permanent residents (268,419), entry permit pass holders (22,581), students (36,559), Malaysia My Second Home participants (30,727), expatriates and their dependents (96,623), and non-citizens in Sabah who hold different types of documents (136,055).
A total of 8,801 foreigners have been issued with temporary resident passes, resident pass holders (8,271), social passes for spouses of Malaysian citizens (170,812) and other social passes (38,393).
According to the figure given by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are 178,715 individuals who are its cardholders in Malaysia.
Despite requesting for the list, he said the ministry had yet to receive it.
“We hope that non-governmental organisations working with UNHCR cardholders can help us get the list so that they, too, can be verified and included in the vaccination programme.
“At the same time, our authorities are working to identify areas and settlements where the cardholders reside so that they can work on getting them vaccinated.
“We will try to identify where they are and will look for them. When we know who the cardholders are and their settlements, it will help to ensure that they will get inoculated. We want to help,” he added.
Hamzah said for undocumented foreigners, the repatriation recalibration programme is still open for them to leave the country, with more than 100,000 people having left over the past six months since the programme started.
“We also hope that employers take up the offer to get valid documents for their foreign workers under the labour recalibration programme. By doing this, their workers can be included in the vaccination programme,” said the minister.
He said vaccination for documented foreigners would be according to the phases set by the CITF.