Singapore, Malaysia to allow cross-border travel on compassionate grounds from 17 May

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2 min read
Malaysia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Hishammuddin Hussein (left) and Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan attending a media doorstop session following their meeting in Singapore on Sunday (2 May). (PHOTO: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore)
Malaysia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Hishammuddin Hussein (left) and Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan attending a media doorstop session following their meeting in Singapore on Sunday (2 May). (PHOTO: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to allow cross-border travel between the two countries for compassionate and emergency reasons, starting from 17 May.

The agreement on the "Procedures and Entry Requirements for Death and Critically Ill Emergency Visits between Singapore and Malaysia" was reached following a meeting between Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein in Singapore on Sunday (2 May).

Details of the scheme – such as quarantine arrangements and types of tests to be taken – will be released by the respective authorities in each country, said both parties in a joint statement.

"This is a scheme which is needed because of the extensive ties of kinship between Malaysia and Singapore – parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, and cousins. 

"When family crises occur, people want to get together. Therefore, bearing in mind this very special and close relationship between the people of Singapore and the people of Malaysia, it is necessary to have schemes like this," said Dr Balakrishnan during a doorstop interview.

Both ministers also discussed the possibility of a Singapore-Malaysia air travel bubble, with Hishammuddin noting that further negotiations between the transport ministries of both nations would be required. 

Other issues raised included the Reciprocal Green Lane and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement schemes, as well as the prospect of mutually recognising vaccination certificates – through digital means – to facilitate cross-border travel.

"Work is also going on for the mutual recognition of health certificates. This is with respect to vaccination records and Polymerase Chain Reaction test records. That is well underway at a technical level," said Dr Balakrishnan.

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