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Travel Notice Situation in Eastern Sabah

26 June 2023

Singaporeans who intend to travel to the eastern coast of Sabah should exercise vigilance and caution. They should keep themselves updated on the latest developments through official websites such as that of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (www.facebook.com/esscomsabah) as well as through Malaysian news outlets. Singaporeans are also advised to take all necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety, including purchasing comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage of the insurance policies. Do eRegister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that we could contact you should the need arise. Those in need of consular assistance may contact the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur or the 24-hour Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at:


High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in Malaysia
209 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 321 616 277
Duty phone: +60 166 610 400
Email: singhc_kul@mfa.sg


Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office
Singapore 248163
Tel: 6379 8800, 6379 8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

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Public Health Advisory

Travellers should refer to the ICA website for the latest information on travelling to/from or transiting through Singapore. Travellers seeking to enter Singapore should comply with prevailing Public Health (including COVID-19) as well as General Entry Requirements listed on the Singapore immigration website (http://www.ica.gov.sg/enter-transit-depart/entering-singapore) to ensure a smooth journey.

For information on health-related entry requirements for Malaysia, travellers may refer to Malaysia’s MySafeTravel website (https://mysafetravel.gov.my) for more details. Travellers can stay updated on the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia by checking the Malaysian Ministry of Health’s website (http://covid-19.moh.gov.my).

Visa Requirements

Singaporeans do not require a visa to enter Malaysia for up to 30 days. However, for onward travel from Malaysia to a third country, Singaporeans may be required to hold a valid visa. It is thus advisable to obtain a visa for onward travel, if necessary, before the start of your journey. Applying for a visa en-route to your destination in Malaysia or at the country you intend to visit may be difficult.

Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC)

The Immigration Department of Malaysia requires foreign nationals to complete the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) prior to their arrival in Malaysia. However, Singapore Passport holders are exempt from this requirement at all entry points. Singaporeans who intend to enrol their fingerprints for access to automated immigration clearance via the e-gates on subsequent entry should submit the MDAC three days prior to their arrival in Malaysia.

Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS)

Singaporeans who have applied for use of the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS) are reminded that the facility is only available at land checkpoints at Johor (Bangunan Sultan Iskandar and Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar). MACS is meant to facilitate faster immigration clearance for exit from/entry into Johor and cannot be used as a transit facility for onward flights out of Malaysia.

General Immigration Matters

  1. Singapore passports must be valid for more than 6 months at the time of entry.
  2. When you enter or depart Malaysia, check that your passport is stamped before leaving the immigration booth.
  3. Do not pass the immigration booths that are unattended. You should not enter or leave Malaysia without having your travel documents processed by a Malaysian immigration officer and ensuring that your passport is stamped correctly.
  4. If you are entering Malaysia for internship or employment purpose, please ensure that the proper approval is obtained from the Malaysian immigration authorities prior to your arrival. Please approach the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore (https://www.kln.gov.my/web/sgp_singapore/home), Immigration Department of Malaysia (JIM) (https://www.imi.gov.my), and JIM’s Expatriate Services Division (https://esd.imi.gov.my/portal) for information or clarification on the relevant passes and entry requirements.
  5. Please ensure your passport is in good condition. Passports with signs of damage (i.e. tear, water damage) may not be accepted for entry into Malaysia.

Loss of Passport

  1. If your Singapore passport is lost or stolen when you are in Malaysia, make a police report immediately at the nearest local police station.
  2. Report the loss onlinevia ICA e-Services immediately, if you have a valid Singpass account.
  3. After reporting the loss, ICA e-Services will prompt you to apply and pay for a temporary travel document, known as a Document of Identity (DOI).
  4. Once the online application is approved and ready for collection, the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur or Consulate-General in Johor Bahru, depending on your selection, will contact you for collection.
  5. If you do not have a valid Singpass account, you should bring the police report and two passport-sized photographs to the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur or Consulate-General in Johor Bahru to apply, pay, and obtain the DOI.
  6. The DOI, which is chargeable, is only valid for one-way travel back to Singapore.
  7. As there are some administrative procedures involved in issuing a DOI, our offices may not be able to issue the document immediately and you may have to extend your stay in Malaysia.
  8. For exiting Malaysia with a DOI, you may be required to apply for a special pass from the Malaysian Immigration Headquarters nearest to your point of departure.
  9. You can apply for a new passport after you have returned to Singapore.

Customs Requirements

  1. For a comprehensive list of dutiable and duty-free goods, as well as customs requirements, please refer to https://www.customs.gov.my/en/tp/Pages/tp_ppel.aspx  for more information.
  2. All visitors to Malaysia are required to declare dutiable goods at the customs. There are currency exchange control restrictions on bringing large amounts of Malaysian ringgit or foreign currencies into or out of the country. Please refer to https://www.customs.gov.my/en/tp/Pages/tp_cec.aspx for more information. 

Consular Assistance

Singaporeans who require consular assistance may contact the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur or the Consulate-General in Johor Bahru using the contact details provided on the sidebar. Singaporeans in Malaysia are strongly encouraged to e-register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that they can be contacted, should the need arise.

Singaporeans may also connect with the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur through our Telegram channel (https://t.me/SHCKL), Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SingaporeHighComKL), and website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg/kl).

Take general precautions to ensure your personal security in Malaysia such as:

  1. Carry your personal belongings on the side away from the street.
  2. Do not carry too much cash or display expensive jewellery or accessories (such as watches or bags) on your person.
  3. Do not leave your belongings unattended when in crowded public places.
  4. Ensure that you have your travel documents (i.e. passport) on your person at all times.
  5. Do not leave important documents (like passport) or valuables in plain sight in your car. All loose electronic items, bags or belongings should be stowed away, out of sight.
  6. Avoid isolated, unfamiliar places and places with a high known incidence of crime especially at night and if alone. Opt for well-lit and well-travelled areas which will be safer and reduce the risk of being a victim of crime.
  7. There have been occasional reports of alleged scams, robbery and rape incidents involving public transport providers as well as Grab and Uber in Malaysia. Hence, it is important to exercise the usual precautions and common sense when taking public/shared transportation.
  8. Exercise caution and prudence at all times and avoid large gatherings and demonstrations. Monitor media reports closely or check with the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur or Consulate-General in Johor Bahru on the situation.

Travel Funds & Valuables:

  1. In Malaysia, major credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted by local established retailers. Avoid carrying too much cash.
  2. If money and valuables are stolen or lost, make a police report at the nearest police station.
  3. In an emergency, you can arrange for funds to be remitted to you by your family or friends through a bank. Emergency funds can also be remitted to you via the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur or Consulate-General in Johor Bahru; if your family or friends deposit funds with the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consular Directorate.

Malaysia imposes severe penalties including death for possession or trafficking of even small amount of illegal drugs. Do not convey or transport any parcel, especially across the border when asked by a stranger. Should such parcels contain illegal drugs, you risk being found guilty of the possession, smuggling or trafficking of drugs. You should also never leave your belongings unattended or under the “care” of any stranger.

Driving of Foreign-registered Vehicle in Malaysia:

  1. Consider applying for the International Driving Permit (IDP) for driving in Malaysia. The IDP is recognised worldwide and is also a useful form of identification.
  2. Singaporeans in Malaysia who hold a long-term stay visa for employment or residency must obtain a Malaysia driving licence if they want to drive in Malaysia. Those who possess a valid foreign driving licence may contact the Road Transport Department of Malaysia (JPJ) to seek full information on the procedures in driving licence conversion.
  3. Foreigners driving vehicles in Malaysia can check and make payment for their fines issued by the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) through the MyBayar website or mobile application. For more information, please visit the MyBayar website or RMP Traffic Department’s Facebook page.
  4. The High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and the Consulate-General in Johor Bahru are able to certify true copies of the Singapore driving license. For other requirements, Singaporeans may check with JPJ directly. JPJ’s contact details are: Road Transport Department of Malaysia (JPJ) Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur Lot 14264, Jalan Genting Klang, 53300 Setapak. Tel : +60 3 40241200

Hospitalisation and Death:

  1. In the case of an accident or medical emergency, call 999. Any injured or sick persons are usually brought to the nearest state hospital.  A medical transfer to Singapore by ambulance is possible. However, the superintending doctor in the Malaysian hospital as well as the receiving hospital in Singapore will need to consent to the transfer. The cost of medical transfer is to be borne by the individual/medical insurance. The High Commission in Kuala Lumpur or the Consulate-General in Johor Bahru can provide a list of service providers for such medical transfers.
  2. In the event of the death of a Singaporean, specific approval from the local authorities (like hospital and/or police) is required before the remains can be claimed for repatriation or cremation. An undertaker can be appointed to assist in this and to obtain all other necessary related documentation.

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [Updated on 5 February 2024]

Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws, customs, and COVID-19 regulations.

Demonstrations do occur in major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.


For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

  • Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
  • Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
  • eRegister with us on our website (www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

While travelling

  • Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
  • Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
  • Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrest or terror attacks.
  • Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
  • In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

Advisory: Email Scams

There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport numbers, address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

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