M’sians working in S’pore seek more info on border reopening

JOHOR BARU: Malaysians working in Singapore want both governments to provide more information on the reopening of the border next month to help them prepare ahead of time.

While the announcement on the border reopening was much welcomed by the group, many of them expressed concern that they might not have enough time to do what was necessary if details were not given early.

Accountant Khoo Yin Ting, 29, said she was eager to return to Malaysia.

“I have not seen my husband and other family members for about four months.

“I really want to get home, but there are still so many questions unanswered, ” she said.

Khoo said among other things, she wanted to know how to be one of the 2,000 persons allowed to cross the border under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

Echoing her view is assistant chemist M. Eddie, 25, who has also been stuck in Singapore since March 18.

“I have been hearing talk about who comes under the PCA and Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) categories, but there is nothing official to help me plan my travel.

“I hope that the two governments can shed more light on the matter as soon as possible, including on the application process and ways to cross the border in August, ” he said.

Meanwhile, there is another group of Malaysians who want to travel in the opposite direction – into Singapore.

They are Malaysians who could not travel back to work in Singapore due to the border closure.

Among them is security officer S. Sathia, 46, who has been on unpaid leave for four months and forced to become an e-hailing driver in Johor Baru while waiting to go back to the island republic.

“I want to get back to work in Singapore and am waiting for details, ” he said.

Tool installation coordinator Noor Azizan Junaidi, 29, who is also on unpaid leave, said his company would arrange for his return to Singapore.

“My company asked when I could return so that they could process the necessary documents, and I told them I plan to do so in August, ” he added.

Johor Baru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president 1 Datuk Loh Liam Hiang said the cap on 2,000 persons for daily travel under the PCA and 400 weekly under RGL was too low to have much impact on businesses here.

“It is understandable that the reopening of the border needs to be done in stages.

“But if it is done too slowly, I fear that more businesses here will be forced to shut down as they rely heavily on Singapore visitors, ” Loh said.

Singapore businessman A. Brian, 49, who owns a food manufacturing factory in Johor, said he did not plan to come here in August.

“I have been able to manage the factory from Singapore using technology. I can’t wait for the border to reopen to visit my factory.

“As all my Malaysian workers are based in Johor Baru, the limit on the number of people allowed to cross the border will not affect my business, ” he said.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced in Parliament that only 2,000 Malaysians and Singaporeans would be allowed to cross daily under the PCA category and only 400 Malaysians and Singaporeans weekly under the RGL category.

He said the full reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore border hinged on the successful implementation of the RGL and PCA.

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