Singapore, Malaysia agree to allow cross-border travel for some residents and business travellers

Singapore, Malaysia agree to allow cross-border travel for some residents and business travellers

Singapore Malaysia Causeway Mar 18, 2020 - 4
The Causeway early in the morning at around 7.20am on Mar 18, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to allow cross-border travel for certain groups of people, including residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes.

This was discussed between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin in a telephone call on Friday (Jun 26), said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a press statement on Saturday. 

The two leaders agreed to establish a Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and a Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) for different groups of travellers. 

The RGL will facilitate cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes.

Travellers would have to adhere to a set of COVID-19 prevention and public health measures, said MFA, adding that the measures are being discussed and will have to be mutually agreed upon by both countries.

READ: Singapore to take 'step by step' approach on reopening border with Malaysia: Vivian Balakrishnan

The PCA, on the other hand, will allow Singapore and Malaysia residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country to periodically return to their home countries for short-term home leave.  

"They will be able to return home for leave after spending at least three consecutive months in their country of work, and they will be allowed to re-enter their country of work after their home leave," MFA said.

Mr Lee reiterated Singapore’s commitment to address the needs of Singaporeans and Malaysians who were commuting between both countries before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel.

Both leaders agreed that any bilateral arrangement would have to include mutually agreed public health protocols, to preserve the public health and safety of citizens on both sides, while taking into account the medical resources available in both countries.

MFA said Mr Lee and Mr Muhyiddin have tasked their officials to "work expeditiously" on the operational details of the RGL and PCA. 

Officials will also continue discussions on other proposals to gradually facilitate more cross-border movement of people, to ensure a stable recovery by both Singapore and Malaysia from the COVID-19 situation, the ministry added.

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Source: CNA/zl(gs)

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