Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has recently announced that umrah travellers returning to Malaysia must undergo a compulsory quarantine at quarantine stations or hotels designated by National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).
This comes after the Health Ministry (KKM) finds many pilgrims failed to comply with the Home Surveillance Order (HSO) that caused the virus to spread among their family members, neighbours and relatives who come visiting.
Meanwhile, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Duties) Datuk Abdul Latiff Ahmad announced that the federal government will be bearing the costs of quarantine for Umrah travellers returning to Malaysia.
In a statement on Facebook, he shared that the government understands that many of the travellers are worried about additional costs as well as issues involving comfort while undergoing quarantine.
Hence, the government will be placing the umrah travellers at government-managed quarantine placements or hotels based on room availability.
“Umrah pilgrims have the option of either dealing directly with private quarantine stations or government-managed quarantine stations. The quarantine period is as set by the MOH.”
“For these options, the cost of quarantine will be borne by the government including food, drinks, and transportation from the airport,” he said.
However, it seems that this policy was not going well with the people and many criticise the government for flaunting taxpayers’ money in such a manner.
These people should bear their own expenses just like everyone returning home from overseas trips. Why is the government footing the bill? They choose to go overseas during a pandemic. They shouldn't be given special treatment. https://t.co/j4JffhQus5— Siti Kasim (@sitikasim) January 4, 2022
Most notably, lawyer and social activist, Siti Kasim took to her Twitter and said, “These people should bear their own expenses just like everyone returning home from overseas trips. Why is the government footing the bill? They choose to go overseas during a pandemic. They shouldn’t be given special treatment.”
Apart from Siti Kasim, many supported her opinion and said that this is just another preferential policy that the government has made.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!