Loosening Restricted Movement for Cross Border Employees?

Major Johor mitigation plan includes appealing for a special exemption for border bound workers and students

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad said they would hold a meeting with Singapore government on 19th March 2020

The Johor State government is looking to appeal to the Federal Government on a special exemption to let 200,000 Malaysian employees working in Singapore and vice versa to cross the border with extra precautions involved. Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad said at a press conference today about the state’s mitigation plan, the first day of the Movement Control Order taking effect that lasts until 31st March 2020.

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The said order was announced earlier on 16th March 2020 in order to curb the outbreak of COVID-19. As of date, 2 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Malaysia were recorded and one of it is a case in Johor.

The special exemption would allow usual travel cross border between Malaysia and Singapore bound for Malaysian employees with legal Singaporean and Malaysian working pass, drivers of certain transportation like employees bus with legal pass, logistics and delivery workers with solid reason, professional specialists or technicians, business owners, students and Singaporeans staying in Johor.

A special state committee headed by Hasni himself formed together with the State Secretary of Johor, Azmi Rohani, National Security Council (MKN), the Health Department Director and Immigration Director would soon come up with a mitigation plan. Meanwhile another committee involving Singapore’s government would take place, latest by 19th March 2020.

“We have to find a way to mitigate the flow, especially of humans. We must make sure that the movement of commercial transportation will also be subjected to a stringent screening programme. Not only to the drivers but their assistants that are involved with the activity,” he said, while citing that social visits by tourists are not included and can wait.

The exemption is made after Johor was given the mandate to form a proposal by the Prime Minister and is expected to be made effective by Thursday, 19th March 2020 under the discretion of the Federal Government.