Malaysians with foreign family members relieved after border restrictions ease

Foreign workers in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Many head to Malaysia for a better life, and some marry and settle there.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - Malaysians with foreign spouses and children overseas are welcoming the government's decision to ease travel restrictions, which will allow their loved ones to return.

A housewife from Cheras, Mesriyah Sikur, who married her Indonesian husband in May 2016, said she had not seen him since he returned to Indonesia on March 20 after his visa expired.

He could not come back after the government imposed the movement control order (MCO), she said.

Malaysia has eased travel restrictions under the recovery MCO phase which started from June 10 until Aug 31.

"Initially, I wanted to follow my husband back to Indonesia, but our Immigration Department did not allow Malaysians to travel overseas. I am worried about our situation and my three-year-old daughter keeps asking about her father. I could only say that he is at work, " said the 29-year-old.

The government yesterday announced that foreign spouses of Malaysians and their children would be allowed to return to Malaysia after they obtain permission from the Immigration Department.

Newly married Nurul Shafikah Eting, 20, and her Bangladeshi husband are stranded in his home country.

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and without the spouse visa, my husband had been unable to return home, " said Nurul Shafikah, who is from Sabah.

The entrepreneur, who is pregnant, said they hoped to return to Malaysia soon.

Ruby Yeo, 35, said she had been frustrated at not being able to get a long-term social visit pass (LTSVP) for her Polish husband, Arthur, 45, who will have to leave Malaysia in August.

"We don't even know if there will be flights for him to leave or for him to return," the business owner said said.

She said they wanted to apply for LTSVP or spouse visa earlier but was told by the Immigration Department that her husband would not be eligible.

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