More than an April Fools Day for Malaysians

30 Mar 2022 10:50am
Malaysia is expected to return to some sense of normalcy as it transitions into the endemic phase from April 1. - 123RF Photo
Malaysia is expected to return to some sense of normalcy as it transitions into the endemic phase from April 1. - 123RF Photo

SHAH ALAM - Malaysians will enjoy various exciting events starting April 1 as Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted after two years of struggling with the pandemic.

Among the things to look forward to is the reopening of the country's borders which allows Malaysians to travel abroad and back in without having to be quarantined.

The national border reopening also allows tourists to enter the country without too much hassle and this will help boost the nation's economy.

To alleviate the burden of the people who are still affected by the pandemic, the government have also allowed for a special withdrawal of RM10,000 from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the application of which will be open from April 1.

In addition, most states have also announced permission for congregational prayers without physical distancing in all suraus and mosques in line with the country entering the endemic phase.

The states involved are Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Federal Territories, Selangor, Malacca, Terengganu, Kelantan and Sarawak while Johor allows prayer mats to be placed close to each other without contact between the congregation.

However, despite all these relaxed restrictions, reportedly there are over two million Sinovac vaccine recipients and senior citizens above the age of 60 who will be at risk of "losing" their complete vaccination status on April 1 if they do not get a booster dose injection.

Commenting on the country entering into the endemic phase, social expert, Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Shatar Sabran said this will represent a new paradigm in the way of life for Malaysian society but cautioned that discipline must still be practised.

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"We must always remember that Covid-19 has not been eliminated. What the government is doing today is to provide comfort and relaxation to a depressed society.

"With such flexibility, it indirectly improves the country's economic journey.

"If we get caught up in this flexibility to the point that we take SOPs lightly, such as not wearing face masks and crowding in unnecessary places, it will have negative implications," said Mohammad Shatar.

Touching on the vaccination status of Sinovac vaccine recipients who have yet to receive their booster shots, Mohammad Shatar advised Malaysians to abide by the government's decision as it was made to protect the people.

“Let us not be so easily deceived by the statements of certain individuals who incite the community not to follow the government's instructions.

“The whole world has implemented the booster dose. If we follow logic, the world will definitely not do it if it has bad implications,'' he said.


1. Malaysia to transition into the endemic phase and national borders will reopen

2. Operating hour limits for business premises are abolished, customers are allowed to eat at eateries after midnight.

3. Congregational prayers in mosques and suraus can be performed without physical distancing.

4. Application for special withdrawal of RM10,000 EPF monies opens on April 1.

5. Sinovac vaccine recipients and those above the age of 60 could lose their complete vaccination status if they are not boosted