PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysia-Singapore joint working group on Covid-19 will meet to discuss changes to conditions before allowing Malaysians working in the republic to return home, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said until the changes are finalised, they will not be allowed to return to Malaysia.
He said according to existing agreement, Malaysians who work in Singapore and want to return home must be tested for Covid-19 in the republic.
“Singapore authorities will have to issue a letter to clear the person of Covid-19. As long as Singapore authorities don’t clear them, they cannot return, ” he said on Monday (April 6).
He, however, said there are some changes to the conditions and the joint working group is working on the new conditions.
“I believe that the Foreign Ministry will inform us at the meeting tomorrow on what are the new conditions agreed upon by Malaysia and Singapore.
“But for now, we won’t allow Malaysians in Singapore to return, ” he said.
Johor has appealed to Singapore to allow Malaysians in the republic to return home in stages so it can better manage them.
Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said if the Singapore government could allow between 1,000 and 2,000 Malaysians to return each day, it would be of great assistance to the state government.
He said managing Covid-19 in the state was unique, as Johor has two major entry points – the Causeway and Second Link – as well as four international ferry terminals.
There are at least 45,000 Malaysians currently working in Singapore wishing to return home following the republic’s decision to impose stricter measures to contain Covid-19 there.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (April 3) announced significantly stricter measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, with most workplaces closed from tomorrow and all schools move to full home-based learning on Wednesday (April 8).
Lee said except for key economic sectors and essential services such as restaurants, markets, supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transportation and banks, all other work premises would close for a month.