Malaysians with PR in Singapore urge govt to consider their plight

JOHOR BARU: Malaysians with Singapore permanent resident (PR) status are appealing to the government to include them in the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) travel scheme.

They said that while they were allowed to travel back to Malaysia, they were unable to do so under the PCA and would have to go through the 14-day quarantine, unless they were coming back to work here for at least three months.

Under the PCA, some 2,000 Malaysians and Singaporeans with long-term work permits would be allowed to cross the Johor Causeway and the Second Link every day.

Separately, the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) allows for 400 Malaysians and Singaporeans to travel to and from the two countries every week for either official travel or business matters.

M. Mudy, 29, said he was initially relieved when the Malaysian and Singaporean governments had announced the PCA and RGL travel schemes but later felt let down.

“I was happy at first as I thought I could finally see my family again under the PCA after months of being away from them.

“But then I found out that the PCA is not applicable for most Malaysians with a Singapore PR and I was disappointed,” he said.

He added that he had requested his company’s human resources department to try to work on the matter, and is currently waiting for updates from them.

“As far as I know from the resources online, the PCA is not applicable to Singapore PR and if we want to travel back to Malaysia, we have to go through the full 14-day hotel quarantine where we have to bear its full cost.

“I will not travel back if that is the case as I will not be able to quarantine at home and I have to pay for everything on my own,” he added.

Meanwhile, a system analyst who only wanted to be known as Hann Pinn, 46, echoed the same thing, noting it had been months since he last saw his two children, aged 12 and 14.

“I rushed back to Singapore on March 17 before the border closed without enough clothes and unable to settle things for my children as I was caught off-guard.

“On April 5, I had to return to Malaysia to settle some family matters, where I went through the 14-day quarantine in Malaysia and another 14-days in Singapore.

“If I have a choice, I definitely do not want to go through that nightmare again,” he said.

He said he was disappointed with the current PCA arrangement as it failed to include the dozens of Malaysians with Singapore PR for work.

“I have no clue when I will see my family again as we (Malaysians with Singapore PR) seemed to be a forgotten group,” he added.

Lecturer Dr G. Subramaniam, 50 said he hoped the Malaysian government could look into the matter and consider making a revision to the PCA to include Malaysians with Singapore PR who wanted to return for a short visit.

“For a Singaporean or a person with a Singapore PR, be it a Malaysian or any other nationality, they could only travel to Malaysia under the PCA if they were going to work here for at least three months.

“In my case, I am a Malaysian with a Singapore PR who works in the island republic and as I am not returning to work here (in Malaysia) for three months, I am not eligible,” he said, adding that he had not been back for over five months.

Subramaniam, who is going through the 14-day quarantine in a hotel in Johor Baru, said there were quite a number of other Malaysians with Singapore PR who wanted to return, especially in emergencies.

“Probably they (the authorities) forgot or missed out this category. They may not know we are going through this situation,” he added.

When contacted, Johor Immigration director Baharuddin Tahir said the PCA scheme was to assist those with work purposes only.

“It is for those who want to return to work or want to return to their respective home country for a break after three months.

“For Malaysians, their employers in Singapore are required to do the application for them and for Singaporeans, their employers in Malaysia are the ones who are required to do so,” he said.

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