Possible re-opening of Malaysian-Singaporean border

Foreigners without renewed visa’s may have to leave Malaysia before April 21, or face detention.

Foreigners without renewed visa’s may have to leave Malaysia before April 21, or face detention. Picture: Pexels

CAPE TOWN, April 14 (ANA) – Malaysian foreign Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will be meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien on May 4 to discuss reopening the Malaysian-Singaporean border, according to Channel News Asia.

During a press conference, home affairs Minister Hamzah Zainudin was asked if foreign citizens on social visit visas that are past April 21 would be forced to leave the country.

“Those who we have been caught and committed offences, including offences that are against Malaysian law … once it’s time to send them back, we send them back,” Hamzah said.

The Malaysia ministry of immigration and naturalisation and citizenship have announced that any remaining foreigners who are unable to leave by April 21 can request an extension of stay.

“Documents of proof of address and financial means to stay in Malaysia must be submitted as well,” said Khairul Dzaimee Daud, the director-general of immigration and citizenship.

The Malaysian authorities are aware of people with expired social travel visas who face difficulties returning to their countries due to the cancellation of flights and visa issues.

Those who are unable to return to their home country may require a special pass to prolong their stay in the country, but their respective embassies must support this, Daud says.

The Malay Mail stated that foreigners from various countries had received emails from their Malaysian embassies advising them that they had until April 21 to leave the country or face fines or detention.

Last year, 291 compliance actions targeting entertainment venues and massage centres were undertaken, with 1,281 foreigners and 83 employees arrested.

“Foreigners who have been allowed to stay in the country based on social visit passes must comply with the rules and regulations set under the Immigration Act,” Duad said.

“US citizens in Malaysia holding expired social visit passes should prepare to depart Malaysia prior to April 21 (14 working days after March 31).

“Individuals holding expired social visit passes who stay in Malaysia or attempt to depart Malaysia after that time may be subject to strict penalties, including immigration detention and fines,” the US embassy says on its website.

There are now more than 360,000 Covid-19 cases recorded in Malaysia, with more than 1,300 fatalities.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay

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