JOHOR BARU: There seems to be no happy ending for Malaysian workers seeking to return home from Singapore, with some claiming that their employers do not allow them to take long holidays.
This was revealed by Johor works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri, who claimed that some of these workers had to stay back in Singapore and wait for their turn to take their annual leave.
“There were also instances where some workers were hesitant to come back as they were worried about losing their jobs after returning to Malaysia, ” he said when asked about the problems faced by Malaysian workers in the island republic.
He stressed that the Immigration Department was doing its best to help facilitate movement of Malaysians who want to take a break and return home to see their family.
Mohd Solihan said it was now an opportune time for both governments to look at reopening the border to daily commuters as Covid-19 cases in Johor and Singapore were low.
“We have implemented PCA (Periodic Commuting Arrangement) and Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) since August and it is timely that we start opening up to daily commuters.
“As long as there is adequate Covid-19 testing on both sides of the border and also good compliance with the standard operating procedure (SOP), I do not see a problem in the border being reopened to workers to commute regularly, ” he said in an interview.
Malaysian-Singapore Workers task force president Dayalan Sreebalan, when contacted, said they, too, had heard that some companies in Singapore were not allowing their Malaysian workers to go back for a long stretch.
He hopes the Federal Government would start looking into the problems faced by Malaysians in Singapore.
He said they were also getting complaints about Malaysians who returned under the PCA programme unable to travel to their home state due to the current conditional movement control order.
“As such, they are stuck in Johor Baru, ” he said, adding that police should be flexible about the situation.
Dayalan also supports the move to reopen the border to daily commuters but with stringent checks and SOP.
“How much longer do they expect to keep the border closed?” he said.
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