On August 10, the government of Singapore has arranged to open its cross-border applications with Malaysia.
This comes after the two countries settled an agreement for the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) and Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), according to Channel News Asia (CNA).
Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that she is satisfied to announce that both countries have established an agreement for the Reciprocal Green Lane and for what they call the Periodic Commuting Arrangement. All details have been established and will begin to commence on 10 August. They will publish the details of the operation in the coming days, according to Balakrishnan, after her meeting with Malaysian’s Hishammuddin Hussein.
But the minister emphasized that commuting daily between the two countries is not included in the said arrangement.
Balakrishnan explained that they still need a couple of weeks to for them to monitor the Covid-19 situation between the two countries, particularly in Johor, Malaysia. They need to determine the confidence that the pandemic is well-controlled in both countries before they can start discussing allowing daily commuting between Malaysia and Singapore.
The minister also noted that they are working on allowing people to cross the border for compassionate reasons such as paying a visit to a sick relative or attending funerals.
Over the past several months, the minister has received a lot of frantic appeals from people. Their grandparents or parents are in the ICU, or worse, have passed away. They wanted to bid their final goodbye to their departed that they desperately asked to allow them to cross the borders.
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Having a great sympathy for this kind of situation has brought the minister to try a working arrangement on these trying times for the people.
Because of restrictions on the border that are being imposed on Singapore and Malaysia brought on by the pandemic, the two Foreign Affair ministers to set up their meeting at mid-way point in the Johor-Singapore Causeway.
The two neighboring countries had agreed on implementing PCA and RGL earlier. August 10 is set to be the terminal date to launch cross-border travel for a few residents and for business purposes between Singapore and Malaysia.
Besides following public health and Covid-19 prevention protocols, qualified travelers will need to provide “controlled itinerary” on the accepting country which will be strictly complied by during the visit.
However, the PCA will allow residents in Singapore and Malaysia to maintain immigration passes on a long-term basis for business and work purposes upon entering both countries.
Qualified travelers with short-term leave will be able to go back to their home country after they have spent at least three consecutive months of stay in their work country. Travelers can then return to their work country to continue working for another three months.