Malaysia will ban citizens from going overseas and foreigners from entering their country for about two weeks starting Wednesday (Mar 18) , said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a televised address on Monday (Mar 16).
This order is part of a “restricted movement order” established by the Malaysian government to prevent further spread of the COVID-19, said Mr Muhyiddin.
From Mar 18 to Mar 31, all Malaysians are prohibited from leaving the country. Those who return from overseas will have to go through health checks and go on a 14-day self-quarantine, opined Mr Muhyiddin.
Foreign visitors, including Singaporeans, will also not be allowed to enter Malaysia during this period, he added.
According to a Straits Times article, an average of 295,731 people use the two land crossings between Malaysia and Singapore daily. This did not include the ones travelling on motorcycles, cars, vans, lorries and buses. Given the substantial number of workers from JB, employers who employ Malaysian workers, as well as the Malaysian workers, have been very concerned.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing stated that “businesses that employ Malaysian workers who commute between Singapore and Malaysia daily, may have to activate their business continuity plans. If they need help, they can contact Singapore economic agencies”
As the situation evolves, the Singapore authorities will continue to stay in touch with their Malaysian counterparts. Chan said, “Our priority is to ensure that our people and our businesses are able to continue with their lives and their livelihoods.”
In a doorstop interview with media on Tuesday (Mar. 17) morning, Chan mentioned that many employers enquired if they can provide temporary accommodation in Singapore for Malaysian workers, who are affected by the measures.
Chan responded that the economic agencies are working with the companies, dormitory operators and hotels to provide accommodation options for such workers.
He also mentioned that companies who need help for their workers’ accommodation can contact and work with said economic agencies and their own trade associations.