Grandparents in M’sia Help Grandkids Reunite With Parents in S’pore, Endure Long Bus and Plane Ride

Jia Ling
·3-min read

For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge of all sorts—especially so for families who have been separated from their children due to travel restrictions.

As the pandemic continues to unfold, many Malaysian parents having work commitments in Singapore still find themselves unable to return home due to Malaysia’s Movement Control Order.

Even so, that hasn’t stopped some families from reuniting despite the situation being fraught with challenges.

Grandparents Endure Long Bus and Plane Ride

According to a Facebook post by Malaysian politician and Johor State Executive Councillor Liow Cai Tung, some grandparents in Malaysia have risen to the challenge to help reunite their grandkids with their parents in Singapore.

But not without some heartache and persistence at least.

Just to get to Johor Bahru, Liow shares that some grandparents had to take a bus and plane.

Among them was a grandmother who accompanied her grandchild from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur, according to Liow. Thereafter, the grandmother took a plane to Johor before crossing the Johor-Singapore land border.

After hurriedly handing her grandson over to her mother, the grandmother proceeded to take a night bus back to Ipoh alone.

According to Liow’s post, it is not the first time that she had assisted families in their reunion. She said that most of the children were brought to Johor Bahru by their grandparents, waiting to be reunited with their parents.

Late last month, the Malaysian politician assisted nine children from eight families to return to their parents in Singapore with the help from 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 luggages to ensure that the customs clearance could be completed smoothly.

This time around, Liow shared that she assisted four groups of children who hail from Johor Bahru, Ipoh, Muar and Kluang.

“During the waiting process, I can’t help but talk about their hometowns, and occasionally feel the sentimental parting of grandparents and grandchildren,” she said. However, Liow shares that she also feels gratified that the children are able to return to their parents.

Grandparents in M'sia
Grandparents in M'sia

Grandparents in M’sia brought their grandkids to help meet with their parents in Singapore. | Image source: Facebook/Liow Cai Tung 廖彩彤

Image source: Facebook/Liow Cai Tung 廖彩彤

Families Face Different Challenges From Before

In her post, Liow noted that the challenges people now face in travelling back and forth between Malaysia and Singapore are unlike the past.

She attributes the most frustrating thing about clearing the customs in the past, to the traffic jams and snaking queues—a stark difference as seen now in empty customs.

The challenge presented now is instead, having to deal with complicated application and approval procedures in applying for a travel pass.

“With every task, we are faced with different challenges which are by no means smooth as we have imagined. But seeing the smiles of parents and their children, we felt it was worth it,” wrote Liow.

Image source: Facebook/Liow Cai Tung 廖彩彤

You can view her full post here:

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