10 November 2021
Malaysians working in Singapore are excited to be able to head home soon under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) after being away from their family for close to two years.
Social media lead Ishneesha Swee Yin was thrilled upon learning the good news, saying that she could finally reunite with her family in Kuala Lumpur.
“It has been about two years since I last saw my family and I miss them so much.
“I am planning to head home before Christmas as I had already made plans a while back to spend the festive season in the United Kingdom with my partner.
“The VTL will make things so much easier for me as I do not have to waste time and money on home quarantine.
“It also means that I can go back to Kuala Lumpur more often now,” said the 30-year-old.
On Monday, Malaysia and Singapore announced the reopening of their mutual border with the VTL between Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Changi Airport from Nov 29.
Under the VTL, fully-vaccinated travellers will be able to travel between both countries and be subjected to Covid-19 test in lieu of serving quarantine or stay-at-home notice.
Graphic designer Chua Wen Fa, 33, said the VTL was a relief since he could return home in Selangor without having to serve quarantine in Malaysia and upon return to Singapore.
He, however, would wait for both governments to announce the full travel standard operating procedures before booking a flight or making plans as his passport has expired.
“I renewed my passport online in Singapore in early September but I have not received any updates from the Malaysian High Commission.
“Hopefully I can get my passport soon so I can return to Malaysia in time for Chinese New Year next year.
“It will be a more meaningful celebration as I have been away from my family even before the border closure in March last year,” said Chua, adding that he had also updated his MySejahtera app to a fully-vaccinated status as he received his inoculations in Singapore.
Meanwhile, Johorean Bob Lee, who has been working as a photographer in Singapore for about two decades, hopes the Causeway and Second Link could reopen by the end of the year to make travel more convenient for those whose families are in the Johor Baru area.
The 45-year-old said not only would the cost of a round trip from Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Johor Baru be high for his family, the risks would also be higher as they needed to take a bus and taxi to reach home.
“The governments should reopen the land links before Chinese New Year next year to allow people to return to Malaysia in stages rather than a huge influx during the festive season.
“I would wait for the land borders to reopen before making plans to visit my parents and sister who are living in Johor Baru.
“Before the pandemic, my mother used to visit my family and I in Singapore weekly and my family would head back to Malaysia about once a month,” said Lee who last saw his family in March last year.
Social worker Vishantini Raj, who has been working in Singapore for about 20 years, said she too preferred to wait for the Johor-Singapore land border to reopen before returning home to Johor Baru.
“My family live in Johor Baru so it does not make sense for me to take a flight to Kuala Lumpur and then travel by land for another four hours to Johor Baru.
“It will be less of a hassle to cross the Causeway as it usually takes me about one to two hours to travel between Johor Baru and Singapore, depending on the traffic.
“Since VTL for air travel has been introduced, I hope there will be VTL for land links soon for people whose families are in Johor to reunite easily,” said the 38-year-old.