JOHOR BAHRU, May 4 (Sin Chew Daily) -- A total of 13 husbands accompanied their pregnant wives to leave Singapore for Johor. The wives were given the priority to leave by bus while the husbands had to walk across the Causeway towing their luggage under the hot sun.
Arranged by Stulang state assemblyman Andrew Chen Kah Eng, a total of 66 passengers including pregnant women, senior citizens and children were allowed to take the bus leaving Singapore for Johor.
The bus made a total of three trips at 10:00, 11:30 and 13:00. Only 22 passengers were allowed onboard for each trip to maintain social distancing.
Chen told Sin Chew Daily the passengers were also given biscuits and mineral water while waiting to be sent to quarantine centers after arriving in Johor Bahru.
400 Malaysians are allowed to leave Singapore each day. Chen has been helping them by arranging buses from Johor Bahru to Singapore for those unable to walk the long distance.
At this moment, Chen said at least 100 pregnant women, senior citizens and children were still waiting for transport arrangement to return to Malaysia.
Prior to the arrangement, Chen needed to apply access permit in group on their behalf.
"I am grateful to St John Ambulance of Malaysia for sending an ambulance to follow the bus in case of emergency," he said.
It is learned that the first batch of passengers encountered problem at the checkpoint in Singapore, as they were required to show the access permit granted by the Malaysian government. The problem was later resolved.
Chen Qiu Lan, 27, said this was her first pregnancy and she is due on July 10. She entered Singapore one day before the enforcement of Movement Control Order by the Malaysian government as her husband is working in the city-state.
Now Qiu Lan is returning to East Malaysia to deliver her first baby.
Lee, 30, who is in construction material business in Singapore, said his pregnant wife had planned to return to Malaysia in mid-May. When they learned about Chen making the arrangement for pregnant women to return to JB by bus, they decided to return to Muar earlier. His wife is due in June. Both are permanent residents of Singapore.
They were at Kranji bus station at 09:15. Lee later took a taxi to Woodlands checkpoint and walked across the Causeway in 40 minutes.
Another pregnant woman, Wei Li Shi, 28, an auditor, was returning to Malaysia to deliver her first child due on July 3.
She was grateful that Chen had arranged for the bus service to ferry pregnant women.