Malaysians across the globe are unhappy with the ruling that citizens need to bear 50% of the mandatory quarantine charge upon returning home.

Yesterday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that from June 1st, foreigners entering Malaysia will have to pay RM150 for each day they are in mandatory quarantine. This includes non-citizen spouses and dependents who are of permanent resident status.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob

Malaysians, on the other hand, need to pay half the figure, amounting to a whopping RM 1050. This is based on a rough calculation for the two week quarantine imposed by the government on its own citizens.

Malaysians need to pay a whopping RM 1050 for the two week quarantine, imposed by the government on its own citizens.

Ismail said the decision was made at the National Security Council meeting. He also said that those wanting to return to Malaysia will have to sign a letter of undertaking agreeing to bear the quarantine costs.

“The signing of the letter can be done at Malaysian Embassies and High Commissions. After the agreement is signed, the office will also issue a letter permitting them to return to Malaysia. The Immigration Department will also be issuing a directive to all airline companies to make it a condition for passengers disembarking in Malaysia to have the letter, ” he said.

To date, 38,371 Malaysians who returned from overseas were quarantined and 30,200 individuals had completed the process and were allowed to go home.

Malaysians cry foul

Malaysians everywhere took to social media to voice their dissatisfaction with this bizarre ruling.

Image credit: Facebook

Many echoed that it is blatantly unfair for the government to foot the bill for Malaysians returning in May, and refuse to do so in June, mostly because many are stuck outside the country for various reasons.

Image credit: Facebook

Others voiced out their dissatisfaction with the government with this move, citing sky high airline ticket prices to return to Malaysia in the first place as flights are fewer in number.

Many also pointed out that the cost of living abroad is usually much higher than in Malaysia. Not only are returning Malaysians plagued with this burden along with their exorbitant flight tickets, they now have to fork out an additional four figure sum to merely go home in their own country.

Not only are returning Malaysians plagued with this burden along with their exorbitant flight tickets, they now have to fork out an additional four figure sum to merely go home.

Returning Malaysians are already plagued with two large financial burdens. The exorbitant flight tickets and high cost of living abroad. They now have to deal with an additional four figure sum to merely go home.

The Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisations (Mapim) has urged the government to reconsider making Malaysians returning from abroad pay for part of the cost of their quarantine. Mapim president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said the high cost of being quarantined in a hotel would be a burden for workers and students.

“It is very burdensome if Malaysian who go overseas for work, business, government posts or studies have to bear the cost of quarantine when they return,” he said. He also suggested the government channel the Covid-19 donation funds to pay for quarantines.

Dhinesh, a Malaysian student currently stranded in Adelaide, Australia, said that this is a terribly unfair situation to be put in. “I’ve been trying to get on a flight back to Kuala Lumpur, but it keeps getting cancelled. I finally secured my flight ticket, paying thrice the usual rate, but I will be landing after the 1st of June, which means I have to fork out even more money,” he said, dejected. “The fact that we have to undergo a quarantine is understandable. But making us pay for it simply because we are entering the country in June?”

“All I want is to go home, at this point. I wish the authorities would sympathise with us and remove this ruling for Malaysians,”