Malaysians in Singapore happy to return but remain wary

Malaysians staying in Singapore welcomed news that the border between the countries will reopen on Aug 10. It has been closed for almost four months due to Covid-19.

In a joint press statement by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, both governments agreed to implement the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

Nevash Nair, who lives in Singapore, was delighted the borders are finally opening up.

“As a Malaysian living in Singapore, I am extremely delighted with the announcement by both governments,” said Nevash, who hails from Klang.

“I haven’t been back to Malaysia since September. My travel plans in the first quarter of the year were derailed by Covid-19.

“Malaysia and Singapore are not only major bilateral trading partners. Many of us have relatives staying on both sides of the Straits.

“With the implementation of RGL and PCA, I believe residents in both countries will benefit economically while keeping their loved ones happy,” added Nevash who is keen to return home to see his parents.

The RGL will allow travel between Malaysia and Singapore for “essential business and official purposes”. PCA will allow Singapore and Malaysia residents, who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country, to enter for work.

Eligible travellers must abide by the prevailing Covid-19 prevention and public health measures agreed upon by both countries, including swab tests.

They will also have to submit a “controlled itinerary” to the receiving country, and adhere to this itinerary during their visit, the statement said.

Another Malaysian, Darren Goh, said: “It is good. I would love to go back but if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days, then it will be difficult.”

Goh is also worried about what would happen if the infection rate goes up while he is back in Malaysia.

“What if I’m back in Malaysia and the borders close again? Some workers could be trapped here.”

Here is the rest of The News Normal.

CARDIOLOGIST WHO DEFIED MCO FINED RM1,000

Dr Ong Hean Teik, who defied the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 19 by jogging at City Park in Penang, was slapped with an RM1,000 fine.

The 61-year-old cardiologist was caught in a four-minute video clip arguing with Penang Island City Council enforcement officers who had advised him to go home.

Magistrate Jamaliah Abd Manap meted out the fine after Dr Ong pleaded guilty to the charge of going to City Park without a valid reason as required under Rule 3(1) Prevention of Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020.

COME DOWN HARD ON SCAM ARTISTS

Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the government must get aggressive in addressing Macau and love scams.

This comes after six individuals, including a 28-year-old doctor and a 90-year-old woman, were conned out of RM7.19 million in recent weeks.

THAT SINKING FEELING

Auditor-General Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid said a little over one-third or 34.6 per cent of vessels belonging to the security forces are either damaged or not functioning properly.

He also revealed there were no sea surveillance systems (Swasla) along the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and Sabah while 64.3 per cent of Swasla’s remote sensor sites were spoiled.

Another 44.4 per cent of its components could not be replaced as they were no longer in the market.

AEON BIG’S DEBT SEES SUBANG HQ SEALED

Japanese retailer AEON BiG (M) Sdn Bhd’s headquarters in Subang has been sealed for failure to settle a judgment sum of over RM140 million after the service of judgment on them.

The action was taken by Mega Continental Sdn Bhd, which is a unit of Penang-based Belleview Group. This is the second AEON BiG hypermarket to close after the Alor Setar outlet ceased its tenancy last month.

MYTHBUSTERS’ GRANT IMAHARA DIES AT 49

Grant Imahara of MythBusters fame, died suddenly on Monday after suffering brain aneurysm. He was 49.

An electrical engineer and roboticist by training, he joined MythBusters in 2003 and was with the show until 2014 when he left with co-hosts Kari Byron and Tory Belleci. The trio reunited in 2016 for Netflix’s White Rabbit Project which lasted one season.

EPL TO WELCOME BACK FANS IN SEPTEMBER?

Premier League clubs expect to “partially” welcome back fans into stadiums in September – when the 2020-2021 season is expected to kickoff.

They are still waiting for approval from the government but have begun plans to welcome back fans although no discussions with any supporters groups have taken place.