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Mutual Understanding and Detailed Discussions Needed Between Malaysia & Singapore Before Opening Borders

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Source: Straits Times & Sinar Harian

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Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic hit our shores, borders between Malaysia and Singapore have been closed to prevent the spread of the disease. On 14 July, a press statement was released to announce the reopening of the borders on the 10 August while implementing the concepts of Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA). 

Despite the recent rise in the number of cases in Malaysia, the situation is still under control. However, it may not be the same for Singapore due to the three-digit increases reported daily. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah expressed the need for mutual understanding and more detailed discussions between both countries before permitting the cross-border travel, according to Bernama.

“Our time frame for Singapore… we start this month, we can implement it. But again we looked at the situation, where we have seen the data that Singapore’s positive rate is at 8.2 per cent (per 1,000 population) while Malaysia’s at 0.91 per cent.. we have to decide on who to allow (in).”

Foreign workers in Singapore will not be allowed to enter Malaysia. Meanwhile, Singaporeans and expats who’ve been living there for more than six months might have a better chance in crossing the border. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) has to be streamlined between these two countries to break the Covid-19 chain.

Datuk Hisham explained that countries categorised as ‘green zone’ will face difficulties letting in citizens from ‘red zone’ countries. Such situations need to be looked at and analysed from time to time because they’re always changing.

“Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand have a 0.9 per cent positive rate, which means it is well-contained in these three countries, but not in Singapore because yesterday it had 256 cases. So, it means they have to increase their testings,” he said in a webinar held by EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry titled ‘Malaysia: Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic’ yesterday.

Moreover, Datuk Hisham also said that there’re many things to learn from other countries that have been handling the pandemic professionally. Of course, Malaysia too has been doing well thanks to the leadership and confidence the people have towards factual and scientific information.

Stay tune for more updates! 

 

Also read: Borders Between Malaysia & Singapore To Reopen On 10 August

 

 

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