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REBUTTAL TO THE REPORT BY THE STAR “ENVOYS WAITING TO RETURN TO MALAYSIA”
With regard to the news report published by The Star on 15 June 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia (Wisma Putra) wishes to reiterate the statement made by YB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Senior Minister for Security and Minister of Defense) today, that all foreign Diplomats are no longer required to undergo the mandatory 14 days quarantine at the designated quarantine centre, starting 10 June 2020. Instead, all arriving individuals can do the quarantine at the comfort of their own home. The same statement was made through multiple channels before. They are however, required to undergo the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test at the country of their origin. All supporting documents have to be presented at the entry point upon arrival to Malaysia.
Notwithstanding the above, the Malaysian Government has made it is compulsory for all arriving individual to download and install the “MySejahtera” application that would enable the Ministry of Health (MOH) to monitor users’ health conditions, and for the MOH to be able to take immediate actions in providing the treatments required.
Wisma Putra wishes to acknowledge the concerns raised by all foreign diplomats, including one made by the US Ambassador in the recent article published by The Star, and would like to assure that all actions taken by the Government of Malaysia were made based on consultations from experts and consensus by the relevant agencies involved, in order to preserve public health and national security. These decisions were made collectively as efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, and should not be seen as an arbitrary or discriminatory act but, derived from clear and transparent laws and regulations, applicable to all persons entering the country.
In the context of cooperation to effect the COVID-19 containment measures, inviolability of eligible diplomatic personnel, missions and residences will, at all times be respected, provided that it is not against the spirit of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) 1961. This is evident of Malaysia’s reverence to the VCDR. The VCDR, Article 41 (1) also justify the expressed provision “Without Prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State.”
PUTRAJAYA 15 June 2020