Petition Hopes To Remove Quarantine For Vaccinated Malaysians Returning Home

Even after more than a year, the path ahead looks grim for Malaysians hoping to reunite with loved ones across the Causeway.

Many Malaysians here who have been fully vaccinated are now calling for more allowances in cross-border travel.

2 weeks ago, a petition was started to allow Malaysians in Singapore to return home without quarantine.

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At the time of writing, the petition has amassed nearly 10,000 signatures.

Petition calls for authorities to remove quarantine

Singapore and Malaysia shut their borders on 18 Mar 2020, following the first Movement Control Order (MCO).

Since then, countless Malaysians in Singapore haven’t had the chance to reunite with their families.

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But they are now looking at the matter with renewed hope.

2 weeks ago, Mr Tay started an online petition calling for Malaysian authorities to allow vaccinated citizens returning home to forgo quarantine.

The petition suggests that the authorities should allow Malaysians to enter the country without having to serve quarantine if they fulfil the following criteria:

  • Surpassed 14 days after receiving the 2nd vaccine dose
  • Take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Malaysia
  • Quarantine for a day while waiting for test results
  • Test negative for Covid-19

Mr Tay explained that many Malaysians in Singapore face mental health issues after being away from their families for so long.

At the time of writing, nearly 10,000 people have signed the petition.

Malaysians have been apart from families for over a year

Speaking to The Straits Times (ST), Mr Tay shared that many Malaysians here have been affected by the current rules.

Since they are in a “very stressful” predicament, it’s unfair to ask their loved ones in Malaysia, especially those who have lost their jobs, to pay for a 14-day quarantine in a Johor Baru hotel.

Mr Tay also said that he personally misses his family dearly, especially his 10-year-old son in Kuala Lumpur.

Another Malaysian, Ms Basaruddin, told ST that she is reluctant to make the trip home as she would have to fork out over RM8,000 (S$2,586) and spend a total of 28 days in quarantine.

She, too, has been apart from her 4 young children for a long time.

High costs of quarantine

With the current rules, a person returning to Malaysia and coming back to Singapore will have to endure 14 days in quarantine there and another 14 days here.

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This amounts to roughly S$2,900 — RM2,200 (S$709) on the Malaysia side and S$2,200 on the Singapore side, reports ST.

Malaysia had enforced the strict 14-day quarantine for travellers entering from Singapore since 13 May after a surge in cases.

Hope situation improves for both countries

We can only imagine the emotional drain Malaysians in Singapore are feeling after not seeing their loved ones for such a long time.

Hopefully, with vaccinations ramping up on both sides of the Causeway, they will soon be able to travel back home with fewer restrictions.

In the meantime, let’s all do our part by adhering to safety measures to ensure that Singapore’s Covid-19 situation will stabilise.

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Featured image adapted from Johor Transport.