Malaysia and Singapore are yet to decide early next month on their borders’ reopening under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) categories. Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the RGL is to enable cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between both countries. The PCA is to allow both nation’s residents, holding long-term immigration passes (for business and work purposes), to periodically return to their home countries for short-term home leave. The discussions were specifically held with six green zone countries identified by the Health Ministry (MOH) (previously announced by Health Director-general Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah).
The discussions were about opening borders for important business matters, international students, and food supply within Southeast Asian nations. Final decisions will be made only if they are approved at the Special Ministerial Meeting on the implementation of the Movement Control Order and by the Cabinet. “Once cross-border travel is allowed, Wisma Putra will ensure that it is beneficial to both countries and at the same time also make sure it does not affect our Covid-19 fighting efforts,” he said.
Commuters are concerned about the COVID-19 tests being expensive
Meanwhile, many daily commuters are worried about the costs for COVID-19 tests, which they must undergo to enter Singapore. They are also worried that the new standard operating procedures (SOP) imposed at the Johor Causeway and Second Link may affect them financially. Johor MCA government coordinating affairs chairman Michael Tay said many Malaysian workers had contacted him to express their concerns over charges for the tests. Currently, those entering Singapore should undergo a compulsory two-week quarantine at their center and take a Covid-19 test. Together, they cost about SGD 2,200 (USD 1,579), he said.
“The Covid-19 test itself is about SGD 200 (USD143) in Singapore. I hope the authorities in Malaysia will ensure the tests that need to be taken will be affordable,” he added. A fee of RM40 (USD9) per test using the rapid Covid-19 test kit was suggested by Tay. He stressed that the two countries, upon a special agreement, should open up “green lanes” for Malaysians and Singaporeans to travel between both countries without enforcing any form of quarantine.
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