Folks waiting for border to reopen

Malaysians working in Singapore are eagerly awaiting the reopening of the Second Link and Causeway. — Filepic

JOHOR BARU: Malaysians working in Singapore as well as local business owners are waiting for August to come as border reopening discussions between the two countries are set to bear results by then.

Security officer V. Mathivanan, 25, who has been stuck on the island republic since March 18 when the movement control order was imposed in Malaysia, said he was looking forward to visiting his parents once the Causeway and Second Link were reopened.

“I plan to take leave for a week and visit them in Ipoh, Perak.

“The last I saw them was during Deepavali last year and I miss them very much, ” he said, adding that he was confident both the governments would have measures in place to ensure public safety.

Accountant, Khoo Yin Ting, 29, is excited at the prospect of being reunited again with her husband who works in Johor, but plans to be cautious and will only travel when it is absolutely safe again.Chen hopes to see his regular customers from Singapore when the  border reopens.Chen hopes to see his regular customers from Singapore when the border reopens.

“Before this pandemic, I would return home once a week to see him.

“We have been apart for so long, since the MCO started, but we both agreed that I should only make the trip home if it was not risky, ” she said.

Chen Teh Soon, 54, who sells steamboat at night markets here, hoped to see his regular Singaporean customers soon.

“Even though vendors are allowed to do business now, it is not the same.

“About 40% of my customers are made up of those working in Singapore or Singaporean visitors, so the travel restriction has affected my business, ” he said.

K. Rishivaran, 26, a computer engineer in Singapore who returned to his hometown in Kuala Lumpur due to the pandemic, said he could not wait to go back to the island republic and resume work.

“I applied for leave and came back about a month ago as the cost of living in Singapore was too high. My employer was understanding.

“I know it will be a new normal but that is okay. I just want to go back to work again, ” said Rishivaran.

He was one of those who started a petition to appeal for daily travel to be allowed for those with Singapore work passes.

As of July 8, it has garnered over 26,000 signatures from both Malaysians and Singaporeans.

It was reported in The Star that a firm decision on the border reopening was expected to be reached early August under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) categories.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the RGL was to facilitate cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between both countries while the PCA was to allow people from both countries who hold long-term immigration passes (for business and work purposes) to periodically return to their home countries for short-term home leave.

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