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A Reminder: Leaving Malaysia for a Holiday is NOT Permitted

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All residents of Malaysia, including expats, are restricted from taking international vacations at this time.

At a regularly scheduled media briefing on July 14, Senior Minister (Defense) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob noted that expatriates, like all residents of Malaysia, are currently still not allowed to travel overseas for holidays.

In the brief statement, Sabri noted that applications had been received from some expats, purportedly company directors, requesting permission to go on holidays abroad.

“We have decided not to allow this,” Sabri said.

The National Security Council has stated that, similarly, Malaysians are not permitted to travel internationally for leisure at this time, which Sabri also reiterated. It should go without saying that expats in the country are expected to abide by the same rules and regulations. Perhaps, however, the numerous changes regarding expats entering Malaysia over the last four months have led to some confusion.

Revised Guidelines

On July 11, a new revision to the guidelines governing expats leaving or re-entering the country was issued. Much remained the same, with new procedures introduced for expats holding valid passes who need to leave the country (not for leisure holidays, presumably) and then re-enter at a later date.

The previous guidelines that allow only expats holding certain passes, namely the Resident Pass-Talent and Employment Pass Category I, to enter without prior permission, appear to still be in force. Expats holding other passes must obtain permission from Immigration.

For expats holding a valid pass who exit and return during the prescribed period of restriction, the following guidelines apply (with prior permission being required for all expats):

Finally, a flowchart and checklist of what expats holding each individual type of pass will need to furnish upon re-entry to Malaysia was provided:

For complete details, visit the Expatriate Services Division website, and check for “Latest News.”

An Ounce of Prevention…

Though it’s admittedly frustrating to have the freedom of travel we once enjoyed temporarily curtailed, it’s worth keeping in mind that Malaysia has done a remarkably good job in responding to and handling what has been a serious worldwide challenge. Measures such as these are meant to keep all of us in the country safe by mitigating the risk of imported infections, a key component of the virus’s resurgence being seen by numerous countries now.


Moreover, as far as leisure travel goes, Malaysia genuinely has an enormous amount to offer within its borders, so take the necessary precautions, follow the prescribed SOPs, and use this time to discover – or rediscover – this beautiful tropical country.

Also, as a nice bonus, you won’t have to deal with this:

Image Credit: Getty Images via Fortune

International travel, miserably long security queues, and jam-packed planes will surely be back with us again at some point in the future. But for now, embrace the (forced) chance to leave all that behind and travel locally!

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