KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has today doubled down on his statement yesterday allowing the managements of apartments and condominiums to demand Covid-19 test results, saying this only applies to “foreigners” and not Malaysians.
After receiving flak from various parties including the Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers due to the statement, he had then claimed he was misquoted and his remarks manipulated.
“I wish to explain further that the matter involves foreigners, and not locals,” he said in a statement today.
He asserted there was no policy issued by the National Security Council (NSC) that stated people who wish to enter a condominium need to undergo a swab test first.
“However, the government does not stop any management of condominiums or housing areas of making Covid-19 testing rules against foreigners to take care of the safety of the residents in their area,” he said.
Despite Ismail Sabri’s retort, the Opposition MPs criticising his statement yesterday did not accuse the NSC for the alleged policy, but rather the minister himself for allowing management committees and boards to undertake the policy that would bar tenants if they refused to get tested.
The minister had earlier even accused DAP MP Hannah Yeoh and PKR MP Fahmi Fadzil of allegedly being more concerned about the plight of non-Malaysians living here instead of actual citizens.
On Twitter, Ismail Sabri said the lawmakers are representatives of foreigners and not Malaysians.
His tweets have since been deleted from his account following swift condemnation from not just the Opposition but also many in the public online.
He had yesterday said such a rule is allowed in the interest of safety, despite there not being any official government policy on the matter, after he was informed that several residential building managements have made such a rule on tenants, especially foreigners, and asked if such practice is permitted.
Opposition MPs had then criticised him, saying allowing management committees and boards to do that would not only be discriminatory, but also putting burden on both management and residents who would be subjected to such tests at the cost of the roof over their heads.
The federal government has continued blaming foreign workers and undocumented migrants for the rise of Covid-19 cases here, despite not providing the adequate support to test and treat them.