Malaysia may reopen its border with Singapore as early as August 17 under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCS). Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced this after meeting his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, at the Johor-Singapore Causeway Sunday. Datuk Seri Hishammuddin explained that applications under RGL and PCS may be submitted starting August 10.

“We will detail the SOP announcement in due time, but I hope the public understands how important the opening of the Malaysia-Singapore border is for the government. “If the initial opening of the border is successful, we can then further discuss with Singapore to then open our borders to other travellers,” he said.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin said that apart from the RGL and PCS, there were also proposals for daily border crossings for work purposes expected to involve over 200,000 Malaysians and Singaporeans as well as a full reopening of the shared border. “For the third and fourth schemes, the Malaysian and Singaporean governments still need to detail many things before it can be implemented due to safety and health as the Covid-19 situation is clearly not over yet. “In other words, it takes time. “Most importantly, approval of this proposal is subject to the ability of both countries to conduct daily Covid-19 screening tests on the commuting workers,” he added

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin added that if the full implementation of the RGL and PCS schemes was successful, it could be a template for opening the country’s borders to other countries. For example he said the government can initiate discussions with other countries for the Green Bubble concept to revitalise the regional tourism and economic sectors between nations that had shown positive strides in battling Covid-19. The Green Bubble concept is where travel restrictions are eased between countries which have successfully contained the Covid-19 pandemic. Travellers from other countries are not allowed.

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