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.”

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