Commenting on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for the lifting of travel restrictions on the country, Hishammuddin said the decision was based on security risks and advice from the health ministry.
“What the MOH (Ministry of Health) has decided is not too different from what has been done by other countries out there, I believe the African countries understand that it (travel restriction) is not related to diplomacy or geopolitics, but about health.
“We do not want to jeopardise what we have been doing for one and a half years with irresponsible actions,” he said.
Ramaphosa on Monday urged countries around the world to immediately lift the travel ban to the country, which he described as being “unjustified and unfair”.
Also addressing the risk of reopening the Malaysia-Singapore border via the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) following the spread of the new variant, Hishammuddin said it was being monitored.
“The Quartet meeting took note of the discussions between the two Prime Ministers (Malaysia and Singapore) on the potential of having more destinations (with the VTL implemented), such as Singapore to Penang, Langkawi, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
“I have asked all parties to continue to think and discuss, but we will not make a decision until we know the real effects and impact of this new variant,” he said.