“The management of condominium and residential complexes has the right to require residents to submit to Covid-19 tests and bar those who fail to comply, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.’” Malaysiakini report dated January 28, 2021 at 7:19pm.

 

DEFINATELY NO NO.

These management bodies can only exercise powers granted to them by the SMA 2013.

They have no power under that Act to (a) ask their residents to test for Covid-19 and (b) bar a resident from his home because he is suspected of being infected with Covid-19. The SMA 2013 does not grant them medical powers of diagnosis, or to demand they be tested, or the power to bar a man from his residence.

The very act that deals with Covid-19 situations, the Prevention and Control and Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) (‘PCIDA’) grants no such power to the management bodies. The PCIDA sets out procedures for how those who are suspected of an infectious disease ought to be treated: humanely, with proper medical care, and within the constitutional rights of the patient.

Emergency powers do not allow this kind of behavior. Neither Article 150 of the Federal Constitution – under which the Government has advised the Proclamation of the Emergency – nor the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, grant any such powers to condo management bodies.

If the Minister is right, there’s no further resolution on where will the residents and the families allocated.

Statements like these may create unnecessary panics at a troubled time like this.

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