SINGAPORE – For 10 years, Malaysian Haridharan Nagendhran, 28, commuted between Singapore and Johor Baru daily on his motorcycle.
When Malaysia announced it was going into partial lockdown from March 18 last year, the auxiliary police officer and his wife, who was a senior patient service assistant at Changi General Hospital, took unpaid leave.
They returned to JB to their then four-month-old daughter, who was being cared for by Mr Haridharan’s mother.
When the measures were eased last October, the couple returned to work in Singapore. They paid $3,500 for their room, food and swab tests during the quarantine.
Mr Haridharan said: “We used up all our savings. We pawned whatever gold we had, even our engagement jewellery.”
He returned to work on Oct 23.
Two weeks later, his sister told him their father had a heart attack and was in critical condition in a JB hospital.
He and his wife, who had to resign from her job, returned to Malaysia. On Nov 7, during the third day of their quarantine, his father died.
Mr Haridharan said: “We couldn’t do anything and were given two hours to attend the funeral.”
Just before he returned to Singapore on Jan 16, his wife – who stayed in JB with their daughter – told him she was pregnant and is due to give birth in September.
He is now excited but worried.
He said: “I promised my wife I will be by her side when our second baby comes.
“But the quarantine is 14 days when I reach Malaysia and I have to serve another 21 days when I return to Singapore. I don’t know what to do. I really hope the border measures will ease soon.”
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