Malaysian permanent residents of Singapore get new travel rights

Out-Law News | 19 Jan 2021 | 3:44 am | 1 min. read

Malaysians who are permanent residents (PR) in Singapore will be able to travel to Malaysia for short term leave and return under new changes to the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

The High Commission of Malaysia in Singapore announced the changes last Friday. Applications to travel under the new category of the PCA open on 11 January.

PCA travellers entering Malaysia will have to serve a seven day Home Surveillance Order and undergo a COVID-19 test.

When entering Singapore, Singapore citizen and PRs do not need to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure. However, Malaysian nationals with Singapore PR will have to serve a 14-day stay home notice at a dedicated facility and undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test before being cleared to leave.

Under the PCA, approved travellers must have stayed in their country of employment for at least 90 days before returning to their home country for short-term home leave. Only overland travel is allowed and PCA travellers can only enter or exit both countries via the two land checkpoints in Woodlands and Tuas.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “The introduction of this new category will definitely be welcomed by Malaysian nationals with Singapore PRs, as the PCA was previously only open to Singaporeans and Malaysians with long-term immigration passes in the other country.”

The PCA is a safe travel agreement between the governments of Singapore and Malaysia that started in August 2020. It is one of two special bilateral travel arrangements, with the other being the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) that allows for short-term travel for 14 days.