REFERRING to your report “Many left confused and unsure what to do next” (April 12), visitors to our beautiful and hospitable country have been left in the lurch with the sudden directive to leave.
With the Covid-19 pandemic on an unrelenting course globally, and the rate of vaccination progressing slowly, it would be only humane to reconsider this decision to send these people out. International flights are scarce with most borders tightly shut. And to worsen the situation, many countries are being hit by more severe waves of the disease.
In Malaysia, we have been fortunate to be comparatively less scathed. Most of these foreigners are financially self-sufficient and do not pose a burden on this country by seeking handouts.
A handful may have taken advantage of the current situation, but the majority came here to enjoy the famous Malaysian hospitality and conducive environment.
Some have relatives here who are more than willing to accommodate them.
Furthermore, there are those who are in the high-risk category due to their age and health impairments. Nearly all of them have not been vaccinated. These factors would certainly put them in grave danger if they were to be sent out in the midst of a global pandemic akin to a world war.
Due to the movement control order and its various restrictions, it is difficult to make appointments at the immigration offices to apply for special passes.
Perhaps a better option would be to allow them an extension of stay until the situation is brought under control. In the meantime, they could be required to pay a fee for their stay.
This would be a win-win situation for everyone, and Malaysia would surely be applauded for being magnanimous and true to its caring culture and reputation.