If Singapore can house Malaysian workers, ban may be lifted, Latest World News - The New Paper

If Singapore can house Malaysian workers, ban may be lifted

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Minister says ban could be lifted if S'pore can provide accommodation for them

PUTRAJAYA: The ban on Malaysians who come here to work could be lifted temporarily if Singapore can house them, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

About 300,000 make the daily commute each day.

"We are negotiating and we have suggested that the 300,000 are allowed to continue working in Singapore on condition Singapore prepares lodgings for them. This matter is under discussion. God willing, we will make an announcement soon," said Mr Ismail.

In a separate development, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is observing self-quarantine after coming into close contact with an MP who tested positive for Covid-19, The Star reported.

"He is under self-quarantine," said a spokesman yesterday.

It is believed that the 95-year-old had taken a picture with Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen, who is now under quarantine at the Sarawak General Hospital.


Dr Yii had said he had tested positive for Covid-19 in a Facebook post on Tuesday, after coming into close contact with Sarikei MP Andrew Wong Ling Biu, who tested positive on March 2.

In an exclusive interview with TV3's Buletin Utama, Dr Mahathir shared his experience of being under quarantine at home.

"I will follow (self-quarantine). It is important in addressing this problem, to be disciplined.

"We must self-quarantine at home for 14 days. If we do that, there will be less possibility of the virus spreading to other people," said Dr Mahathir.

"So, now I am just at home. I cannot go out and I cannot meet people. I cannot shake hands, and others," said Dr Mahathir.

Malaysia now has the fourth highest number of Covid-19 cases in Asia behind China, Iran and South Korea, reported The Star.

This follows the latest jump in the number of new cases in Malaysia, with 110 new cases reported yesterday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 900.

The majority of Covid-19 cases recorded in the country have been from a religious gathering.

The gathering late last month at a mosque on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur was attended by some 16,000 people.

While more than 10,000 of those who attended the event have been screened, the authorities are still trying to identify another 4,000 attendees.

"We urge the participants who haven't come forward to be screened to be checked by the Health Ministry," Health Ministry director general Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a Facebook post yesterday.

Malaysia is trying to track down about 2,000 Rohingya men who attended the gathering, a security source and two other people told Reuters.

More than 100,000 Rohingya live in Malaysia after fleeing from Myanmar, but they are considered illegal immigrants.

Their status would likely make many of them reluctant to identify themselves to get tested for the coronavirus even if they showed symptoms, other sources in the Rohingya community said.