Putting people’s welfare first


Malaysians walking across the Johor Causeway from the Woodlands checkpoint in Singapore to Johor Baru via the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) Sultan Iskandar Building (BSI) — Filepic

JOHOR BARU: Malaysians especially senior citizens and pregnant mothers, have been advised to seek help from the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore to provide transportation across the Johor Causeway.

Johor health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said this would help ease their movement especially if they were planning to walk across the Causeway between Johor Baru and Singapore.

“So far the High Commission in Singapore has assisted some 100 Malaysians to return home.

“We are concerned about the welfare of the people walking across the Johor Causeway as presently there are no transport services between both check-points,” he said, adding that the Malaysians should inform the High Commission if they needed transport instead of walking back, as there were designated pick-up points.

Vidyanathan said the Malaysian High Commission was always prepared to assist citizens who were facing difficulties getting home to Malaysia under the current circumstances, with the movement control order (MCO) and Singapore’s Circuit Breaker in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Both countries have worked together to ensure some Malaysians, especially the old and sick stuck in Singapore, could make their way back safely by providing special coaches.

“The 100 passengers transported in April included pregnant women, senior citizens, children and the disabled,” he said, adding that the government’s focus at the moment was to assist its citizens in Singapore and other countries who were facing challenges in returning home.

The Johor Causeway is closed to all traffic except for lorries carrying food produce.

The media had earlier reported that a pregnant woman, who was unable to arrange transport to get home, was forced to walk across the Johor Causeway with her luggage and two-year-old son last week.

It took them 40 minutes to reach Johor Baru as the heavily-pregnant woman could not carry her son during the journey. This has prompted the authorities to step up efforts to help those in similar circumstances.

Vidyananthan said frontliners and the agencies involved had also taken on extra tasks to assist those in need.

“This includes arranging for the return of our citizens in Singapore to attend the funeral of family members in Malaysia while also following strict standard operating procedures (SOP),” he said.

He added that there were also cases where the frontliners had assisted in sending Malaysians to attend funerals of family members in the northern region of the peninsula.

On a separate matter, Vidyananthan said that no new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Johor yesterday.

“No new Covid-19-related death was reported either.

“The number of positive cases from Johor remains at 667 with 18 deaths,” he said, adding that 418 individuals had also recovered from the disease.

Johor is one of four states that are now in the conditonal MCO phase, which allows all sectors with just a few exceptions to resume operations provided they follow strict guideline.

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