Singapore and Malaysia Borders Set to Open Soon

Officials agrees to reopen the border in stages with practical solutions in place

1541
A tale of two cities (photo by Edey Suresh)

With Malaysia’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) implemented from 10th June till the 31st of August, the fate of Malaysians going back to work in Singapore has been in question by many.

It is understood that following Singapore’s decision to reopen its economy following weeks-long “circuit breaker” (lockdown) which ended on 1st June 2020, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Senior Minister for Security and Minister of Defence said Malaysians working in Singapore may soon be allowed to resume commuting to and from Johor Bahru (JB).

In a recent update by both Malaysia and Singapore governments, the Johor Causeway and the Second Link in Singapore is set to open soon in stages after being shut for the past three months.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the reopening of the border would be divided into four categories where the first category is for professionals, including those in business, while the second category refers to Malaysians working and living in Singapore, estimated to be about 20,000 to 25,000 people.

The third category comprises Malaysians working in Singapore who commute from Johor to the island republic on a daily basis numbering some 250,000, while the fourth category refers to citizens of Malaysia and Singapore in general.

Malaysians braving the traffic across the Causeway to earn their livelihoods (photo by Kyaizee Mohd)

According to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both countries have agreed to establish a Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and a Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) for different groups of travellers. Travellers would have to adhere to a set of COVID-19 prevention and public health measures and practical measures are being discussed and will have to be mutually agreed upon by both countries.

Meanwhile, in a separate travel news, Malaysia Airlines has increased its domestic and international connectivity beginning June and July respectively to facilitate essential travels locally and responding to other countries’ lifting of border restrictions.

With interstate travel being allowed during the RMCO period, domestic flights in June and July will involve twice-weekly flights, involving the Kuala Lumpur- Alor Star/Johor Bahru/Kota Baru/Langkawi/Terengganu/Labuan/Miri/Sandakan/Tawau routes, as well as a once a week flight for the Kuala Lumpur- Kuantan/Bintulu/Sibu routes. The Kuala Lumpur- Penang/Kuching route will provide three weekly flights in June, whilst the Kuala Lumpur – Kuching will provide five weekly flights in July.

The flight schedules are available on Malaysia Airlines website – https://www.malaysiaairlines.com/my/en.html