High travel costs are holding back some Malaysians

JOHOR BARU: Some Malaysians working in Singapore are taking a wait-and-see approach before purchasing their plane tickets to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) when the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) goes into effect on November 29.

Technician Chang Siang Ee said she would only return to Johor once a land VTL has been implemented.

She said that while the air VTL between KLIA and Singapore’s Changi Airport would save people time because they wouldn’t have to be quarantined, it remains a costly affair.

“In addition to paying the price of plane tickets, which increases as the holiday season approaches, we also have to fork out money for Covid-19 tests in Malaysia and Singapore. Then more money would have to be spent to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Johor.

As such, I will wait until more details are announced on the land VTL between Johor and Singapore before proceeding with the purchase of tickets for KLIA, ”she said in an interview.

Assistant chemist Mr Eddie, 26, also lamented the cost. He said the price for RT-PCR tests in Malaysia and Singapore could reach around RM1536.

“The requirements announced by the two governments on the VTL air seem fairly straightforward and easy to understand. I think there would be no problem for travelers to follow the directions.

“However, the biggest drawback is the cost of the trip. I hope the government can find a way to make travel more affordable for us because for now it is beyond what Malaysians working in Singapore can afford, ”he said. .

Work instructor Tan Sheau Hui, 48, said air tickets between Changi and KLIA for the next few days were purchased despite the high cost of the trip.

“Airline tickets and Covid-19 tests are expensive. But some of those who have been away from home for nearly two years are willing to fork the cash.

“I have decided not to return by VTL plane as I plan to bring my parents to Singapore instead. My brother who is in Australia cannot return to Malaysia either,” she said.

Tan added that she was also concerned that the number of Covid-19 cases could increase following the relaxation of the standard operating procedure of Covid-19.

“Most of the countries that have relaxed their security controls have seen cases increase rapidly. We haven’t seen such a trend in Malaysia yet, but we have to be careful.

“The increase in cases could lead to another border closure,” she said.

On Thursday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri, Dr Wee Ka Siong, said fully vaccinated travelers from Singapore will be able to travel to Malaysia under VTL by plane from November 29 without needing to undergo a quarantine on their own. arrival.

He added that this also applies to air travelers from Malaysia entering Singapore.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said land travel between Singapore and Johor Baru would only cover long-term pass holders such as those working in Singapore or Johor Baru.

Under the VTL, fully vaccinated travelers can travel between the two countries, subject to a Covid-19 test, instead of serving a quarantine or a stay-at-home notice.