CLARIFICATION ON HOTELS AS QUARANTINE CENTRES
“MAH Is Working Closely With MOTAC Coordinating Hotels Turned Quarantine Centres”
Wisma MAH, Ampang (7 April 2020) - At approximately 6.05pm today, online news portal
“Free Malaysia Today” published an inaccurate article titled “Hotel group not aware of RM150
“subsidy” for quarantine stay”, reporting that the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) is
not aware that the government would only subsidise the stay of those under Covid-19
quarantine at a cost of RM150, as opposed to paying for the room in full.
FMT reporter made the assumption based on MAH’s reply as quoted “That’s not what we were
briefed” in response to an earlier statement made by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri
Yaakob. MAH would like to clarify that the association and its members are well aware of the
room rate for the stays complete with three meals daily as per the government’s approved
budget and agreed upon by its member hotels participating in the initiative.
“MAH was in discussion with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) from day
one and had been kept well informed on the government’s intentions. Hotels participating as
quarantine centres agreed to the rate partially as CSR serving the government’s needs,”
explained Yap Lip Seng, Chief Executive Officer of MAH.
When asked about reported complaints and concerns by the general public residing at locations
of these hotel turned quarantine centres, Yap added that these hotels are supervised by the
Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA). “The
returning Malaysians placed under quarantine are NOT patients, under the mandatory
quarantine, they are to remain in the hotel room for the entire 14 days, with no one going in or
out of the rooms,” said Yap.
Being gazetted as quarantine centres also means that the property will be under close
surveillance before, during and immediately after the quarantine period. Hotels are suitable
alternatives due to its support systems and standard operating procedures in place, in addition
to providing a more comfortable and equipped quarantine stay for Malaysians returning home.
“The public should be more concerned of unregulated home-sharing activities like airbnb in
residential areas, where there are no records or control of who is staying, where they are from
or where they had been prior to arriving,” Yap added that they have cautioned the authorities
earlier that such activities could jeopardise the government’s efforts in stopping the spread of
Covid-19. Airbnb last reported over 53,000 listings in Malaysia.
Apartment and condominium managements need to relook into its priorities and impose house
rules restricting home-sharing to protect its permanent residents and their families. The Covid-
19 is a wakeup call for everyone to make necessary changes and be prepared for the future.