Malaysia and Singapore today agreed on the procedures and entry requirements for “Death and Critically Ill Emergency Visits” between the two countries amid stricter border measures.
The arrangement will be implemented from May 17, 2021, onwards.
This is according to a joint statement by Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singapore counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.
“This agreement provides a framework to facilitate travel between the two countries for compassionate and emergency reasons,” said the statement.
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 and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore, it said.
Hishammuddin arrived in Singapore yesterday for a two-day working visit.
The visit is at the invitation of Balakrishnan and to reciprocate his recent working visit to Malaysia. It is Hishammuddin’s first working visit to Singapore as a foreign minister.
According to the statement, the ministers expressed satisfaction that despite the challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral relations and cooperation remained intact and strong, as demonstrated by the uninterrupted movement of goods between both countries.
The statement said the ministers had constructive discussions on strengthening bilateral cooperation amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
They agreed to work towards the resumption of essential cross-border travel in a gradual and safe manner, it said.
The two ministers also welcomed the agreement reached by the Singapore Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation on the mutual technical verification of health certificates issued in Singapore and Malaysia.
They agreed that both countries would continue to make progress on their respective national vaccination programmes to vaccinate long-term residents, including Malaysians residing in Singapore, and Singaporeans residing in Malaysia.
The statement also said the ministers agreed to continue discussions on further border reopening measures, which should be premised on the Covid-19 situation in both countries, and the health and safety of both peoples.
They welcomed the resumption of in-person official exchanges between the two sides, following Balakrishnan’s visit to Kuala Lumpur in March 2021 and Hishammuddin’s current visit to Singapore.
Both foreign ministers agreed on the importance of convening the 10th Singapore-Malaysia leaders’ retreat in Singapore later this year, once the pandemic situation improves.
Following the Asean leaders’ meeting in Jakarta on April 24, 2021, the statement said, the ministers discussed the recent developments in Myanmar.
They agreed that it was important for Asean and its member states to continue playing a positive and constructive role in facilitating a durable and peaceful solution in the interest of the people of Myanmar by following up on the chairman’s statement and the ‘Five-Point Consensus’, it said.