All foreign workers in Malaysia are now required to undergo Covid-19 tests. Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this was decided after the rise of Covid-19 cases in the country over the past few days, the majority comprising foreign workers. “They will have to do a swab test. The cost of the tests will have to be borne by employers”. He said that all foreign workers in all sectors would have to undergo these tests.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the large number of foreigners, both documented and undocumented, living and working in Kuala Lumpur. The issue came to the fore after several places in the capital city were put under enhanced movement control order (MCO) when some foreign workers tested positive for Covid-19. Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa noted there were over 10,000 foreign workers living in Selayang, many of whom were working at the main wholesale market in the city.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan acknowledged that the number of foreigners living in enhanced MCO areas was high. He said some might have entered the country legally to work in sectors like agriculture in other states but eventually ended up in Kuala Lumpur.


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