Time to end this travel requirement?


THE My Travel Pass (MTP) document does not cover every type of passengers seeking entry to Malaysia. It considers Malaysians with overseas spouses but not engaged couples – fiancés are simply considered tourists.

When the Health Ministry (MOH) introduced the home quarantine system, it had specific requirements, and upon fulfilling those requirements and receiving approval, a traveller – whether Malaysian or a foreigner – has only 30 days to enter the country. If one has secured approval from the MOH, what need is there for the MTP? Why can’t the Immigration Department simply revert to its original job, i.e. checking and issuing visas and passports? Frustratingly, both MOH and Immigration offer only inadequate general information online.

I submitted an application for the MTP and, 20 days on, I have yet to receive an update – I’m running out of the 30-day MOH period for entry. If it is a matter of the system being overwhelmed, then why do it? The MOH already has a fine quarantine system in place now. Why do foreigners need an MTP?

This issue of getting approval from two different systems with two different timelines was never made clear to the public. I believe the public is under the impression that the MTP ceased to exist with the introduction of MOH requirements and approval. Once the MOH has given its quarantine approval, one should not have a problem entering the country, provided one has a valid passport (for foreigners) and proper vaccination documentation. Of course, it’s up to foreigners if they wish to quarantine for two weeks before travelling within the country. But, again, not every foreigner is a tourist.

Malaysian marriage law requires foreign partners to reside in Malaysia for almost a month before marriage registration can be pursued. How can one get married if you are not allowed to enter in the first place? My partner and I have waited almost two years because of the pandemic. This is definitely a mental and emotional strain.

It is time to abolish the MTP as it does not serve a purpose anymore. Keep the quarantine order to curb the pandemic and return to normalcy.

PATIENTLY WAITING

Air Itam, Penang

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