KUALA LUMPUR: The Foreign Ministry is discussing with the Singapore government a proposal to open the borders between the two countries to allow Malaysians to travel from Johor to the republic for work, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pix).
He said the proposed standard operating procedure (SOP) for this had been drawn up by the Johor government together with the Johor state health department for scrutiny by the Health Ministry (MOH).
“I was given to understand that almost 200,000 Malaysians working in Singapore commute between the two countries by motorcycle and other means. This matter is still under discussion by the Foreign Ministry because it involves bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore.
“MOH will discuss the proposed SOP with its Singapore counterparts and only after agreement has been reached would the foreign ministries (of both countries) get down to discussing the approval for travel,” he told a media conference on the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and Recovery MCO (RMCO) here today.
He said this when commenting on newspaper reports on some Malaysians being stranded in the republic after the border closure due to Covid-19 prevented them from commuting between Singapore and Johor as they used to.
The reports also said the high costs of living in the republic had forced some of these stranded workers to live as vagabonds.
Ismail Sabri said the National Security Council (MKN) would be gathering information on Malaysians working in Singapore, particularly those who might have run into problems because of the travel restrictions.
“We do not know the status of these people, whether they are still working or not. We have asked MKN to get more details on the problems faced by Malaysian workers in Singapore,” he added.
Meanwhile, when asked if there is a need to postpone all public entertainment programmes, he said this matter would be referred to the Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) for consideration.
“We understand that an artiste has tested positive for Covid-19, and MOH is trying to determine whether he got infected when performing or outside (the venue).
“It is very likely the infection happened outside and not during the show because the artiste’s house is in a CMCO area,” he said.
Yesterday, media reports said versatile artiste Alif Satar was confirmed Covid-19 positive, based on his own announcement on Instagram.
In the posting, Alif said he had submitted a list of close contacts to MOH and today it was reported that his parents were also confirmed Covid-19 positive.
Ismail Sabri also announced that businesses like convenience stores, restaurants and groceries can open until midnight daily beginning tomorrow. — Bernama