Is expat workforce not valued?

IT was welcome news when the government finally decided to let expatriates with MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home) visas back into the country (The Star, May 17; online at They are certainly grateful for the Tourism Ministry’s support in making this happen.

What is surprising is that expats with employment passes are still being refused entry. The government has opened up most businesses and these expats usually occupy management positions in some of them or have valued technical skills, so we cannot understand the logic of continuing to keep them out of Malaysia. If the aim is to get the economy moving, doesn’t it make sense to let them back in to contribute to the country’s economic growth?

I am also receiving emails from distressed dependents of working expats; these are students studying overseas whose schools have closed but they cannot return to their

parents in Malaysia. There are very few of them (probably under 50) and it would be so easy to let them in along with the over 30,000 Malaysians who have been allowed to return.

Is this a signal that the expat workforce is no longer valued? It is quite a change of direction from past years when selected expats were given resident passes with 10-year visas because the country wanted to retain their skills. Now these same people who thought Malaysia really valued them, and made this country their home, are being banned from entering.

ANDY DAVISON , Kuala Lumpur

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