Singapore prepared to work with Malaysia in lifting border restrictions

SINGAPORE (BERNAMA) – Singapore is prepared to work with Malaysia in addressing the needs of cross-border travellers, amid the COVID-19 situation.

The travellers include short-term business and official travellers, as well as Singaporeans and Malaysians who were previously commuting between the two countries.

The republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this in a statement yesterday in response to media queries on Malaysia’s proposal to lift border restrictions between Singapore and Malaysia.

“Such bilateral arrangements would have to include mutually agreed public health protocols, to preserve the public health and safety of citizens on both sides.

“Both countries will require some time to work out the details on the gradual easing of border restrictions to ensure a stable recovery from the COVID-19 situation,” the ministry’s spokesman said.

On Friday, Malaysia had in principle agreed to allow Singaporeans and Bruneians to enter the country’s borders without having to apply for approval from the Malaysian Immigration Department, or to undergo COVID-19 screening or home quarantine.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob said, however, this was on condition that Malaysians would also be afforded the same privileges by the Singapore and Brunei governments.

“The relaxation of the border restrictions must be reciprocated and both these countries must allow Malaysians to enter their countries without any restrictions, as we have allowed,” he said during his press conference on the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) on Friday.

Ismail Sabri, who is also the Minister of Defence, said Wisma Putra was currently discussing the matter with Singapore’s Foreign Ministry, and that Malaysia’s decision to relax restrictions was dependent on the outcome of the discussions being held.