Pining for a home they can’t return to

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysians who are permanent residents (PR) in Singapore are mulling whether it is worth returning home for Chinese New Year as they have to spend up to 21 days in quarantine.

They will need to be quarantined for 14 days upon entering Malaysia, and then spend another seven days in quarantine when they go back to Singapore, meaning that taking leave will have to be factored into the equation.

A 25-year-old company executive, who wished to be known as Cassandra, said if the quarantine period in Malaysia could be shortened, many more Malaysians with Singapore permanent residency could go home for Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 12,2021.

“Malaysians who have work passes and go back to Malaysia using the periodical commuting arrangement need not be quarantined for 14 days. If their Covid-19 tests are negative, they can enter.

“But for Malaysians who have Singapore PR, they have to be quarantined for 14 days, ” she said in a phone interview yesterday.

But nothing will stop her from going home for Chinese New Year.

“My leave request has been approved and I am willing to undergo the 14-day quarantine to be with my family in Shah Alam.

“This is the longest I have ever been away from my family; the last time I saw them was in early March. It’s worth taking the long leave to spend time with them, ” she said.

An analyst who wished to be known as Kuan, 26, is not sure whether she can return to her hometown of Ipoh, Perak, next year.

Kuan, who last returned home in January, is not optimistic that the border will reopen in time.

“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, I went home once every two to three months, ” said Kuan.

“The number of cases in Singapore is under control and I hope the situation in Malaysia will improve.

I can’t wait to see my family again and enjoy the delicious food in Ipoh, ” she added.

Meanwhile, Kamparian Loke See Mun, 29, misses her hometown’s noodle soup but is steadfast about guarding Kampar’s “green” status.

She lives in Penang and has not seen her parents since July.

“The movement control order is about protecting green zones. The Kampar district only had one case in May. Kampar town never had a case.“In Penang, cases were detected near my home in Pulau Tikus.

“I don’t want to risk going home and unwittingly bringing the virus back, ” said Loke.

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