PETALING JAYA: Following an announcement that exemptions will be made for the entry of foreign spouses from 23 banned countries, a Malaysian woman said she is both relieved and hopeful to reunite with her husband from the US.
After months of separation because of border closures, she said she has found a silver lining in this announcement.
The co-founder of the Foreign Spouses Support Group, Bina Ramanand, welcomed the government’s move, saying that it will bring solace to many distressed transnational families in Malaysia.
She said many families have been suffering throughout the movement control order (MCO) as well.
The Malaysian woman, who is a small business owner, told FMT that coping with the pandemic has not been easy, and that her husband’s health issues and financial struggles have made the problem worse.
“My husband has diabetes and problems with glaucoma that require medical attention. He is also legally blind in his right eye. The cold weather has arrived in the US. If his money runs out, he’ll be forced to live in his car.”
After her last application was rejected, she did not think her second chance would come by so soon.
She said that despite the challenges ahead, she is ready to do whatever it takes to reunite with her spouse.
“However, we would like to urge the authorities to consider reducing the high cost of quarantine, in the best interest and wellbeing of the families,” she said, referring to members of the Foreign Spouses Support Group.
While these spouses long to be reunited with their families, she said, many have lost their jobs and are unable to afford the journey home much less the cost of quarantine.
“Some pregnant Malaysians had no choice but to give birth to their children overseas due to travel restrictions,” she said.
Bina urged the government to implement temporary measures to address their needs, saying the lack of effective solutions will only compound their problems.
“Sustainable solutions are needed, including relevant law and policy reforms, to ensure the stability of Malaysian families and their welfare,” she said. – FMT