Senior minister: Students who can’t afford hotels will be sent to public training institutes for quarantine

Ismail Sabri said students about to return to Malaysia will have to register with the Foreign Ministry, including details of their families’ economic backgrounds, to be considered for an exemption from the lodging payments. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Ismail Sabri said students about to return to Malaysia will have to register with the Foreign Ministry, including details of their families’ economic backgrounds, to be considered for an exemption from the lodging payments. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that Malaysian students returning from abroad who are unable to foot their hotel bills for quarantine purposes will be sent to government-owned public training Institutes (ILAs) for self-isolation.

In his press briefing in Parliament, Ismail Sabri was responding to media reports of a group of Malaysian students from Yemen, who were reportedly forced to wait in the lobby of the hotel they were assigned for their 14-day mandatory quarantine until they paid a deposit for their stay there.

“We have already decided that students from B40 families can be exempted from paying the quarantine cost, provided that they make an appeal, when entering the quarantine centres,” he said, adding that the appeal can be registered with officials from the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) stationed at the centres.

“I was made to understand that maybe yesterday, they were forced to wait, because some hotels require a deposit, for example.

“So the Special Ministerial Committee Meeting today has decided that those who have paid the deposit for their hotel stays can continue, and those who cannot afford to pay the hotel deposit will be sent to the ILAs. They don’t have to loiter in hotel lobbies while waiting for their appeals to be approved,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said that to smoothen the process of identifying students who come from lower rung economic backgrounds, students about to return to Malaysia will have to register with the Foreign Ministry, including details of their families’ economic backgrounds, to be considered for an exemption from the lodging payments.

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