SINGAPORE (June 27): Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to work “expeditiously” to reopen the borders for business travel as well as for the daily commute made by hundreds of thousands of Malaysians in and out of Singapore.  

At a phone conversation on June 26 between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin agree to establish a Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), and a Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) to address the needs of different groups of cross-border travellers.

The RGL will make it possible for essential business and official purposes between both countries. 

Travellers would have to adhere to a set of COVID-19 prevention and public health measures, which are still under discussion and will have to be mutually agreed upon by both countries.

The PCA, on the other hand, will allow Singapore and Malaysia residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes to periodically return to their home countries for short-term home leave. 

They will be able to return home for leave after spending at least three consecutive months in their country of work, and they will be allowed to re-enter their country of work after their home leave, states the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

PM Lee reiterated Singapore’s commitment to address the needs of Singaporeans and Malaysians who were previously commuting between both countries.  

They also agree that any bilateral arrangement would have to include “mutually agreed public health protocols” that takes into account medical resources available in both countries.

Since March, in a bid to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, only the movement of essential goods such as foodstuff are allowed to cross the border.