Two problems with Singapore-Malaysia travel

FIRSTLY, let me thank both the governments of Malaysia and Singapore for working out travel arrangements between the two countries during this pandemic.

However, I would appeal to the authorities to consider the following points based on my recent experience with PCA (periodic commuting arrangement) crossing by land from Singapore to Johor Baru (JB).

When one enters JB, one has to take the mandatory Covid-19 swab test and then check into the hotel to await results, which take approximately 24 hours.

For staying at the designated hotel, one has to pay RM150 per day, apart from RM200-RM250 (depending on whether it is government or private) for the swab test.All this is fine. The problem occurs on the next day.

If the results are made known too late, ie past 4pm or 5pm, then it is too late to proceed to the JB state Health Department, as they close at 5pm. Which means the traveller has no choice but to spend another night in JB at their own expense.

If somebody is travelling by road to, say, Ipoh onwards, then it would also be advisable for the test results to be released earlier or to have the health office stay open till later, like 6pm or 7pm, to allow travellers to proceed there to have their wristbands cut. This would save money on staying an additional day in the hotel and allow an early start to their journey back home.

Also, for those planning to fly back from JB’s Senai Airport (Sultan Ismail International Airport), the uncertainty of when results are received means tickets can’t be booked ahead.

I appeal to the two governments to also consider allowing PCA travel by air from Singapore to Malay-sia and vice versa, as it is not practical to travel by road if you live in Selangor/Kuala Lumpur or the northern or East Coast states.

The same rules can apply when the traveller exits at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or Subang Airport (Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport): They have to take a swab test upon arrival, then quarantine at a designated hotel for 24 hours to await results.

Allowing air travel will also ease the congestion at the Causeway and make it more convenient for travellers who are returning to states other than Johor and Melaka.

I would like to thank the authorities on both sides of the Causeway for doing a fine job of facilitating travel, and I hope that they can seriously consider these suggestions.


Petaling Jaya

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