NUNUKAN, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia welcomed Malaysia’s decision to reopen its borders on April 1 and lift Covid-19 restrictions, including abolishing its mandatory quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers.
The Indonesian Consulate in Tawau, Malaysia said it is currently waiting for the standard operating procedure following the recent official announcement made by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“We have not received the official notice. But, the Prime Minister of Malaysia made his announcement on the reopening of the country’s borders starting from April 1, we are waiting for what the standard operating procedure to look like,” the Consulate’s officer of social and cultural information division Emir Faisal said on Tuesday, March 8.
He assured that the Consulate in Tawau was ready to welcome the reopening of the borders, reaffirming the commitment as the Indonesian representative and protecting the Indonesian citizens overseas.
Indonesians in rural areas apply for passports
In a move to prevent illegal entry as the borders will soon be reopened, the Immigration Office in Nunukan, North Kalimantan offered a collective passport application service known as EAZY Passport program to the citizens living in remote areas near the Indonesia-Malaysia borders. The program is conducted outside immigration offices.
“The EAZY passport program is done due to the reopening of the borders. We took an initiative to provide passport application service for the citizens living in remote areas to prevent illegal entry,” said the head of the Immigration Office in Nunukan, Washington Saut Dompak Napitupulu.
He said that the program was well-received by the people in Sebatik island and Lumbis. Hundreds of citizens came forward to apply for the passport upon learning that the borders will soon be opened.