Proposing a Non-Citizens Health Act for Malaysia


THE recent polio case in Sabah highlights the people our health system has left behind. Therefore, we propose a Non-Citizens Health Act for Malaysia to achieve universal health coverage, which is both our Health Minister’s stated aim and a World Health Organisation commitment.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia estimates that there are 3.2 million non-citizens in 2019. Non-citizens is a broad term that encompasses migrants (both legal and illegal, with another study estimating a total of between 3.9 and 5.5 million people in Malaysia), refugees (estimated 180,000 people) and stateless people (at least 12,000 in Peninsular Malaysia and unknown numbers in Sabah, comprising Bajau Laut, nomadic tribes, street children and children of migrant workers, and unwed foreigners with local partners).

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