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Revival and follow up for post-COVID era between Cambodia and Malaysia

Mark Hughes / Khmer Times Share:
Phnom Penh International Airport is open for certain travellers to Malaysia and back. KT/Pann Rachana

Travel between Cambodia and Malaysia may resume with fewer restrictions, it’s been announced.

A call for the move was made because of high demand from Malaysian businessmen based in Cambodia and on the understanding that the COVID-19 situation has now been brought under control in both countries.

That is the view of the  President of the Malaysian Business Chamber of Cambodia Teh Sing.

He said both countries also need to expedite discussions with the other Asean member states to reopen their borders  and  restart the  regional  economy.  “However,  this  cannot  begin  until  the  barriers  to connectivity are removed.”

Teh Sing called for  consideration and support in engaging with the Cambodian government to  reopen  borders  by  creating  “travel  bubbles”  between  Cambodia  and Malaysia and with the rest  of  Asean.

“There is a need to start easing travel restrictions between Cambodia and Malaysia and with our neighbouring Asean countries through the creation of travel bubbles.

The travel bubble will allow cross-border economic and tourism activities to resume in a safe and controlled manner. They could first facilitate entry for business and essential purposes, and gradually be opened up to all residents,” he said.

Noting the need for precautionary measures to promote safe flying  and reducing transmission risks, he added: “I understand the delicate balance between ensuring public health and restarting the economy”.

However, in an environment where proper precautionary measures are already implemented along the passenger journey  (e.g. temperature screening,  contactless infrastructure,  mask-wearing etc), the risk of infection is significantly minimised. “Additionally, we have enhanced our standard operating procedures, which are aligned to Malaysian authorities’ requirements and international guidelines.”

Following a cabinet ministers meeting on June 17, it was decided that students intending to travel overseas for the purpose of furthering their studies are now allowed to travel without requiring any prior approval from the Malaysian Immigration Department. This includes students who entered Malaysia during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Those student categories that are allowed to travel out of the country are those who are continuing their studies, those who have just received an offer to study and those sitting for examinations.

These category students are required to present their student pass, visa, long term pass, offer letter, examination slip and other relevant documents to the immigration officer for verification during departure.

Malaysian Nationals who returned to Malaysia during the MCO and now intend to travel overseas for work or residing purposes are allowed provided they present documentation proof such as resident pass, long-term pass, employment pass or any other relevant documents to the immigration officer during departure.

This is also applicable to Malaysian Nationals working as seamen who need to sign-on to a ship overseas. Relevant documents and letters from the shipping company need to be presented to the immigration officer.

For Malaysian nationals who intend to travel overseas for other matters such as meetings, seminars, exhibitions or business and emergency purposes are required to seek prior approval from the Director-General of Immigration (KPI). The procedures stipulated in this circular came into effect on June 24.

It was  agreed  that  the  following category  foreign nationals  are  hereby  allowed  to enter Malaysia without requiring any prior approval from the Malaysian Immigration Department: expatriate pass (Category 1), resident pass – talent, dependent pass, certain foreign maids.

The entry for expatriates holding an expatriate pass (Category 2), expatriate pass (Category 3) and professional visit pass (specialist category) will still require prior approval from the director-general of Immigration. The government has also announced that the entry of international students and those on a health visit will be subject to the same immigration approval.

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