Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced last night (March 16) a Movement Control Order to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
Under this order, Malaysia will be imposing a ban on Malaysians traveling overseas and on visitors entering the country from March 18 to 31.
Following the lockdown, there were plenty of concerns raised on how it will affect Singapore.
Earlier today, Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing has addressed these concerns and outlined Singapore’s contingency plans.
He noted that some Singaporeans are concerned with the supplies of food and essential items, while many companies with Malaysian workers are concerned with business continuity.
Most recently, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also shared in a Facebook post today (March 17) the takeaways of his phone discussion with PM Muhyiddin on this announcement.
According to PM Lee, PM Muhyiddin has reassured that the “flow of goods and cargo between Singapore and Malaysia, including food supplies, would continue.”
However, Malaysians living in Johor but working in Singapore will have to comply with the Malaysian lockdown. This means that they can no longer commute across the causeway border to head to work.
“We are therefore working out arrangements with our companies to help these Malaysian workers stay in Singapore temporarily, if they would like to do so,” said PM Lee.
He added that both Singapore and Malaysia have appointed Senior Ministers — SM Teo Chee Hean and Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri respectively — to coordinate responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Both parties are already in touch, but it may take a couple of days for arrangements to be worked out and to settle down.