Talks underway to allow Malaysians to travel to Singapore for work

About 300,000 Malaysians worked in Singapore before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, mostly travelling by land daily. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Discussions are underway with the Singapore government to allow Malaysians to travel to the island republic for work, minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

He said many sectors in Singapore are now in operation and the government has asked for permission to allow Malaysians to travel there for work.

Presently, Malaysians with work permits are allowed to work in Singapore, with health screening and accommodation arranged for them. However, they will have to undergo 14 days’s quarantine if they return.

Ismail said a special meeting of the National Security Council today gave the green light for Malaysians to travel across the border to Singapore for work.

“They also need to be prepared to undergo Covid-19 tests if they are needed by the Singaporean government,” he said at his daily media briefing on Covid-19 here today.

Ismail said Wisma Putra has agreed to offer Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim, while two Singapore-based private companies, the Temasek Group and Thompson Medical Group, have agreed to offer two labs to carry out mobile testing and swab tests.

But, he said, the implementation is still being discussed between Wisma Putra and its Singaporean counterpart.

Ismail also encouraged Malaysians working in Singapore to download the MySejahtera app to help Putrajaya carry out contact tracing in case of a positive Covid-19 case.

About 300 000 Malaysians worked in Singapore before the outbreak of the pandemic, mostly travelling by land across the Causeway and the Second Link.

Since April 2, anyone entering Malaysian borders will need to undergo 14 days’ quarantine before being allowed to return home.

The move saw thousands of Malaysians working in Singapore deciding not to commute to work.

Get RM50 for downloading MySejahtera app

On other matters, Ismail said that as announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday, Putrajaya will credit RM50 to the users’ e-wallet upon registering for the MySejahtera app to facilitate contact tracing.

He said those undergoing mandatory isolation at quarantine centres will be allowed to return home on Wednesday after downloading the app.

“Even if they are at the centres for three to four days, they can go back,” he said, adding that they are not allowed to leave immediately as the regulations under the conditional MCO (CMCO) are effective until tomorrow.

On visiting cemeteries, Ismail said it will be allowed during Hari Raya Aidiladha in July, for which the SOPs will be announced soon.

He also said police will not mount roadblocks to check on interstate travelling but will instead check on businesses, including supermarkets and hair salons, to ensure the SOPs are followed.

He said that even though cross-border travel will be allowed under the recovery MCO, the public must carry out social distancing as part of new normal as the virus is still at large.

On allowing express bus companies to ferry full busloads of passengers, Ismail said only half load is allowed as it is part of social distancing.

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