NGO to hold rally to urge easing border restrictions with S'pore

JOHOR BARU: A local non-governmental organisation hopes to rally the people for a peaceful gathering near the JB Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex to get the government to reopen the border with Singapore.

Malaysian-Singapore Workers (Pemas) Task Force president Dayalan Sreebalan said it had been more than six months since the border was closed on March 18, and so far no solution had been found to help daily commuters.

Dayalan, who previously organised a gathering of about 800 people to submit a memorandum to Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad on the matter, said the gathering was expected to be held on Oct 18.

He added that the Malaysian government should look at ways to reopen the border, especially with the increase in job opportunities for locals in Singapore.

He said he had received positive feedback lately on job vacancies for Malaysians in the island republic.

“The Malaysian government should immediately address the teething problems with regard to the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA),” he said.

One of the main issues that Malaysia should immediately look at was to reduce the compulsory quarantine time from 14 days to seven days, he said.

“If Singapore can reduce it since Sept 1, I do not see the reason why our Malaysian government needs its people to stay in hotels up to 14 days.

“We should not impose a blanket policy, which is supposed to be for people coming from prevalent Covid-19 countries,” he said, adding that other issues that need to be addressed were allowing Malaysian with Singaporean permanent resident status to apply for PCA and not just limit their options to RGL.

Dayalan said the PCA was a good scheme but instead of requiring the Malaysian to travel after 90 days, the period should be shortened to 30 days instead.

“Each day we get hundreds of calls and at least 60 people turn up for help at our office in Tampoi Indah,” he said.

When the PCA and RGL initiatives were introduced in August, the quarantine period was about two weeks for both countries. However, since Sept 1, Singapore has revised the Stay Home Notice to seven days for people travelling from low-risk countries or regions.

Besides Malaysia, other low-risk countries identified are Australia (excluding Victoria state), Macau, Mainland China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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