Treated like a tourist after 25 years in Malaysia

I was on a short trip overseas, and could not return to Malaysia by March 17. As the MCO was imposed from March 18, I am prevented from re-entering Malaysia.

I am a British expat with a 10-year residence pass. My wife and I have been resident in KL for 25 years, also at one time on the Silver Hair Programme (as MM2H was originally known), but mostly holding various work passes, until successfully obtaining a residence pass in 2012.

This pass is only awarded to working foreigners in Malaysia who are considered to have contributed value to Malaysia for 3 years or longer. Because of this I consider the residence pass to be at least equal to MM2H, or arguably of more value.

I understand MM2H holders are currently barred entry, which seems very unfair as a commitment was made by both sides, but now the MM2H holders are being treated like tourists. I also consider this is also my treatment by the Malaysian government.

We have been resident in KL for many years longer than many Malaysians: we are not tourists but, I had thought, long-term and valued members in our Bangsar community and workplace. Yet because I was not actually born in Malaysia, I am considered as somehow a greater Covid-19 risk to the country than the many Malaysians permitted to return.

I would like to know if there is any exemption that could be considered for valued foreigners who are long-term Malaysian residents, holding RP-T or MM2H passes, on a case by case basis, and with 14-day quarantine accepted as a minimum requirement, whether or not symptoms are showing.

Andrew Drinkwater is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

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