The Malaysian government has announced that it is ready for the cross-border travel between Malaysia and Singapore under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) starting today (17 Aug).
Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said that Wisma Putra and the Singaporean authorities held thorough discussions before agreeing on the border opening.
Mr Wee was speaking to reporters after officiating Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Ladang Grisek, in Kota Masai, Johor Bahru on Sunday (16 Aug).
He noted that he would refer to the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) if public transportation needs to be deployed, given that not every traveller has a car.
Mr Wee added that this should be subject to the established standard operating procedures.
“APAD will monitor the situation. We (Malaysia-Singapore) are together in this. If there is a need (for public transportation), we will provide them, we are aware that not everyone has a car.”
Considerations include if there is sufficient demand maximising the public transportation, otherwise it would “incur losses to operate”.
“It will involve costs if public transportation is to operate and if not many are using them this will incur losses. So, we need to strategise, plan carefully to ensure a win-win situation.”
On 26 July, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan met midway at the Johor Causeway and had “settled arrangements” for the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) for the resumption of cross-border travel.
The Periodic Commuting Arrangement
The PCA will allow Malaysians employed in Singapore with a valid work pass to cross the border for work, and vice versa. However, this isn’t a daily commute arrangement.
Under the PCA, Malaysians entering Singapore for work and Singaporeans entering Malaysia for work will have to spend at least 90 days in their country of employment before they are allowed to go home.
PCA-approved travel applies for employees travelling across the border via personal transport, private buses, private-hire cars, or on foot.
Employers of Malaysian residents working in Singapore have to apply for the PCA on behalf of their employees at least seven days before the scheduled crossing. The application will only be processed after payment of S$200 for a COVID-19 PCR test.
Those who have arrived in Singapore will be subject to a health screening at the point of entry and must serve a 7-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at a declared location and undertake a COVID-19 test. If the test is negative, they will be released from SHN on the seventh day and be allowed to work. However, ff the test is positive, they will receive medical treatment at their own cost or the cost of their employer.
After the 90 days are up, workers can choose to either go home for a short visit before returning to Singapore for work for another 90 days.
The same measures are implemented for Singapore residents travelling to Malaysia for work under the PCA.
Reciprocal Green Lane
The RGL is for short-term cross-border travel for essential businesses and official purposes between both countries via air and land checkpoints.
Travellers under this scheme will only be allowed a maximum of 14-days stay and have to undergo a pre-departure and post-arrival PCR test. They also have to strictly abide by a pre-declared controlled itinerary during their visit.
Those travelling from Malaysia to Singapore via RGL must be sponsored by a Singapore-based company or a Singapore government agency. The application for a SafeTravel Pass must be filed by them on behalf of the applicant.
Travellers will have to take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and obtain a certificate saying that their test is negative. The cost, again, is borne by the applicant. Upon arrival, they will have to undergo another PCR test. From there, the host company or government agency is responsible for transporting the traveller directly to the declared accommodation and remain there until the post-arrival PCR test is released.
If the test is negative, they can then proceed with the pre-declared itinerary. If the test is positive, they will receive medical treatment at their own cost.
Again, similar measures are in place for Singapore residents travelling to Malaysia under the RGL.
More information for both schemes for residents of Malaysia travelling to Singapore can be found on Malaysia’s Department of Immigration portal while Singapore residents travelling to Malaysia can find out more on the SafeTravel website.
Before entering Singapore, those travelling under either schemes have to download the TraceTogether contact tracing app. Vice versa, those travelling to Malaysia will have to download the equivalent MySejahtera app.
Travellers will be told when and where they can take the PCR tests, are prohibited from using public transport while under isolation, and bear the cost of any medical treatment.