Photo: Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: Half of the cost of quarantine for sponsored students overseas who have graduated and will return home starting June 1 will be borne by their respective sponsors.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said 50 per cent of the quarantine cost for the students will be borne by the government and the other 50 per cent, by their sponsors.

“Those students were sponsored by either the PSD (Public Service Department) or other government agencies and many of them had requested to be exempted from paying the hotel fees for quarantine.

“We have agreed to have the sponsors financing the cost for them and parents need not to worry,” he told the daily media conference on the conditional movement control order (CMCO) here today.

Ismail Sabri said, so far, 18,000 Malaysian citizens overseas had made an online registration and signed the agreement to pay 50 per cent of the hotel fees for the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon returning to Malaysia.

The majority of them were students who had graduated and no longer required to stay abroad, he added.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said there was no need for the government to conduct Covid-19 screening and test on foreign students at local universities.

“Only when there is a case at the university will we isolate them for treatment. but so far, there is no case involving foreign students at local universities,” he said.

When asked on the Covid-19 contact tracing applications developed by several state governments, including the PgCare in Penang, SELangkah in Selangor and Jejak Johor in Johor, the minister said there was no objection for the states to develop their own applications for the purpose.

Members of the public are not prohibited from downloading the applications as the roles and functions may differ, he said.

“As for the federal government, we have developed three applications, namely the MySejahtera, MyTrace and Gerak Malaysia.

“The Gerak Malaysia application, for example, will generate the QR (Quick Response) Code so that users will not have to write their names and telephone numbers every time they want to enter a shopping mall or a restaurant,” he explained.

“This is because many are scared to (touch the pen and) write down their names. So, I encourage the public to download the applications developed by the federal government,” he said.

In another development, Ismail Sabri reminded the public to heed the advice given by Rela members as they were also helping the police in ensuring compliance with the CMCO standard operating procedures (SOPs).

He said the roles played by Rela were tantamount to that of the military, that is to monitor public compliance, and if they stumbled upon defiant individuals, they could alert the Police for necessary action to be taken.

“I wish that, after this, community leaders such as village heads, penghulu and mosque committee chairman, could also be the frontliners to ensure SOP compliance among the community members under their purview.

“They also don’t have the power to arrest, but it is their job to protect the people and help the police,” he added. – Bernama