Malaysia holding talks with Singapore to allow Malaysian workers to travel again from Johor

060920 - Sg hold talk with malaysia on border crossing

Malaysians working in Singapore have to to undergo 14 days of quarantine should they return home.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia’s Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob said on Monday (June 8) that Malaysians working in Singapore can start travelling and resume work there once both governments reached a resolution on the matter.

“Discussions are now being held and Malaysians can start travelling back and forth again once the terms have been outlined, especially those living in Johor,” he said at his daily Covid-19 security briefing.

He said Malaysia is prepared to agree to Malaysians undergoing Covid-19 screenings before resuming work in Singapore if that is among the conditions needed.

He thanked Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim in Johor, the Temasek group and the Thomson Medical Group in Singapore for their offer to contribute test kits and two mobile Covid-19 test laboratories.

He also recommended those working in Singapore to download the MySejahtera app, a contact tracing app issued by the Malaysian government.

Malaysia closed its borders from March 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic, including the two land crossings into Singapore at Woodlands and Tuas.

While Malaysia’s movement curbs have been relaxed, its borders have remained shut to foreigners, and the Causeway at Woodlands and Second Link at Tuas have remained closed.

But Malaysians with work permits have been allowed to work in Singapore, with the Republic arranging health screenings and accommodation for the workers.

Malaysians working in Singapore have to undergo 14 days of quarantine should they return home.

Mr Ismail said a special meeting of the National Security Council on Monday gave the green light for Malaysians to travel across the border to Singapore for work, Malay Mail online news reported.

Singapore in its response said it welcomes the Malaysian proposal to resume cross-border travel between the two countries.

“We are prepared to work with Malaysia to address the needs of cross-border travellers, including short-term business and official travellers and Malaysian workers who were previously commuting between Singapore and Malaysia,” Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday.

“Such proposed arrangements would have to include mutually agreed public health protocols to allow the safe resumption of cross-border movement.

“Both countries will require some time to work out the details and this will also depend on the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia and Singapore. In the meantime, Singapore will continue with practical measures to enable Malaysians to continue working in Singapore,” it added.

Updated from : The Straits Times, 8 June 2020