The relaxations comes after employers complained that expats and skilled workers are needed for the economy.
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After banning the entry of citizens from 23 countries – regardless of visa status – into Malaysia from 7 September onwards, the government has decided to relax the restrictions for expatriates and professional visit pass-holders following criticisms from employer groups.
Who said what: Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Thursday, 10 September, that a special Cabinet committee has decided to allow in expatriates, professional visit pass-holders, permanent residents, foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens and student pass-holders from the affected countries. However, this is subject to approval from the Immigration Department and a supporting letter from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority or related agencies.
How did it get here: Malaysia first announced an entry ban for citizens from India, Indonesia and The Philippines on 1 September due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in these nations. Then, the government announced that it has decided to expand this entry ban to include foreign nations from 23 countries, regardless of personal or professional ties to the country.
The 23 countries are the US, Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, Columbia, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Iraq, the Philippines and Indonesia.
The Straits Times reports that employers had criticised the entry ban, saying that the government should continue to allow expats and professional pass-holders into Malaysia as their technical skills are needed to help the economy.
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