Singapore, Malaysia to begin cross-border travel scheme for death-related, critically ill emergency visits from May 17

SINGAPORE: A cross-border journey scheme facilitating journeys between Malaysia and Singapore for compassionate causes comparable to dying and visits to family members who’re critically in poor health is about to kick off on Might 17.

This was confirmed in a joint assertion on Sunday (Might 2) by Singapore’s Minister of International Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein, following the latter’s two-day official go to to Singapore

The 2 ministers agreed in the course of the go to to work in direction of the resumption of important cross-border journey in a gradual and protected method, the assertion mentioned.

“To this end, the two Ministers agreed on the procedures and entry requirements for death and critically ill emergency visits between Singapore and Malaysia. This agreement provides a framework to facilitate travel between the two countries for compassionate and emergency reasons,” each ministers mentioned.

“Details of the procedures and entry requirements will be released by the respective authorities of each country, namely the Department of Immigration of Malaysia and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA). The arrangement will be implemented from May 17 onwards,” they added.

Talking after their assembly on the Ministry of International Affairs in Singapore on Sunday, Dr Balakrishnan mentioned that the scheme is “really needed because of the extensive ties of kinship between Malaysia and Singapore”.

“Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, and when family crisis occurs, people want to get together, and therefore, bearing in mind this very special close relationship between the people of Singapore and the people of Malaysia, it is necessary to have schemes like this,” mentioned Dr Balakrishnan.

“We announce further details on the types of tests and quarantine arrangements that will be necessary in order to operationalise this scheme,” he added.


Mr Hishammuddin additionally highlighted that preliminary plans for Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to undertake an official go to to Singapore on Monday have been postponed.

He outlined two causes for this – that Mr Muhyiddin’s present focus is on addressing the rising COVID-19 circumstances in Malaysia and that given the current state of affairs, it was not the “right environment” for each Muhyiddin and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to debate resumption of cross-border journey on a bigger scale.

Hishammuddin Lee Hsien Loong
Malaysian Minister of International Affairs Hishammuddin Hussein referred to as on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the Istana on Might 2, 2021. (Photograph: Ministry of Communications and Info, Singapore) 

“A lot of the discussions between the two Prime Ministers, we were hoping, Vivian and I, will revolve around the gradual resumption of cross-border travel and the ease of movement between our citizens,” mentioned Mr Hishammuddin.

“And our hope was that it could have been decided at the very highest levels between the two Prime Ministers during my Prime Minister’s official visit tomorrow. But bearing in mind the current COVID-19 situation, it doesn’t provide the right environment for both Prime Ministers to discuss that particular matter,” he added.

“And we have to stress that it is very challenging for both sides to come up with a concrete and safe solution on cross-border movements at the moment, and also to frame what we could announce to the public. So we both felt that it would be much more opportune for the two Prime Ministers to meet slightly at a later date, a more appropriate time, when we can announce this very important and much-awaited decision by both countries,” mentioned Mr Hishammuddin.

READ: Singapore, Malaysia to work in direction of recognising COVID-19 vaccine certificates, ‘progressively restore’ cross-border journey


In the meantime, Dr Balakrishnan maintained that each governments are engaged on the mutual recognition of well being certificates, with respect to vaccination and COVID-19 polymerase chain response (PCR) check data.

“That’s well under way at a technical level, and again all this is preparation for the future, when the situation improves in both Malaysia and Singapore and travel can liberalise further than where it is now,” mentioned Dr Balakrishnan.

Mr Hishammuddin additionally famous that each side mentioned the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates digitally by the respective nations’ COVID-19 purposes – TraceTogether and MySejahtera.

“Mutual recognition of vaccination certificates … and MySejahtera, TraceTogether need to be compatible, and we hope that by the time the two Prime Ministers meet, whether at the end of the year during their informal meeting or maybe if time or situation permits, earlier, for Tan Sri Muhyiddin to be able to make an official visit to Singapore,” mentioned Mr Hishammuddin.

Hishammuddin Hussein Teo Chee Hean
Malaysian Minister of International Affairs Hishammuddin Hussein with Singapore’s Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Nationwide Safety Teo Chee Hean and Singapore’s Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Dwelling Affairs Josephine Teo on Might 2. (Photograph: Ministry of Communications and Info, Singapore)

Within the joint assertion, the ministers mentioned they welcomed the settlement reached by the Singapore Good Nation and Digital Authorities Workplace and the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Expertise and Innovation “on the mutual technical verification of health certificates issued in Singapore and Malaysia”.

In addition they agreed that Singapore and Malaysia would proceed to make progress on their respective nationwide vaccination programmes to vaccinate long-term residents, together with Malaysians residing in Singapore and Singaporeans residing in Malaysia.

“The two Ministers agreed to continue discussions on further border re-opening measures, which should be premised on the COVID-19 situation in both countries, and the health and safety of both peoples,” the assertion added.

The ministers additionally agreed on the significance of convening the tenth Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat in Singapore “later this year, once the pandemic situation improves”, based on the assertion.  

Throughout Mr Hishamuddin’s go to, the pair additionally mentioned, following the ASEAN Leaders’ Assembly in Jakarta on Apr 24, the latest developments in Myanmar and agreed that it was necessary for ASEAN and its member states to “continue playing a positive and constructive role” in facilitating a sturdy and peaceable resolution within the curiosity of the folks of Myanmar by following up on the chairman’s assertion and the “Five-Point Consensus”.

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