Malaysian man standing in Woodlands Park waves to family in Johor

PHOTO: Facebook/Mohd Izwan Sarip

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, travel restrictions between Malaysia and Singapore have left many Malaysians who come to Singapore to work, yearning for their loved ones back home. 

But thanks to the advancement of technology, staying in touch with loved ones and friends has never been easier. Even so, nothing can be compared to seeing them in person, albeit from afar.  

On Monday (Oct 5), a post which was captioned “longing…” was uploaded by a netizen on Facebook group JB TRACER: Johor Bahru Traffic, Crime & Community Service Report.

Two clips which accompanied the post featured a Malay man who was seen waving to his family across the Causeway from a jetty at Woodlands Waterfront Park. 

With a phone in his hand, the man appears to be video-calling his family. Laughter can be heard in the background as he asks in Malay: “Where are you? Can you see me?“

On the other end of the line, a woman replied back to the man in Malay: “I’m here, wearing a black and white shirt. Can you see me?“

In a separate clip of less than one minute, the man looked into the distance while conversing through video call, in attempts to locate his family on the other side.

Children’s voices were also heard as the man was greeted: “Hi, papa!”

A subsequent post revealed that the man’s family were indeed on the other side of where he was. Two women with two young children in tow were captured in a video from their back views. 

One woman, who is presumably the man’s wife, waved enthusiastically. 

The children were also seen excitedly waving across the Causeway to him. 

The post also documented the family’s point of view in two images, marking where they were situated.

While it is not specifically stated when the man last saw his family, the post hashtags seem to imply that the family has been separated for 201 days starting from March 18, 2020. 

Although this incident might be a brief encounter for the family, and that their figures were barely visible across the causeway, it perhaps still meant a great deal to see that their loved ones are well.

Late last month, some Malaysian parents in Singapore managed to reunite with their children after six months of lockdown in time for the Mid-Autumn festival.

They were able to do so with the help from Malaysian politician and Johor State Executive Councillor Liow Cai Tung, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) and the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Apart from ICA arranging transportation for the children, the officers also helped to carry their luggage to ensure that the customs clearance could be completed smoothly.

These families who came to work in Singapore were unable to return home in Malaysia due to the lockdown imposed.

This article was first published in theAsianparent.