Since the coronavirus outbreak, many couples and their children are forced to be apart due to travel restrictions. Although frustrating, it might be the best way to keep people safe.
However, imagine being separated for months without knowing when you can be together again. No one should be alone, especially during these trying times.
A group called Love Is Not Tourism believes that with the right course of action, people can be reunited again with their loved ones without endangering themselves or the public.
Through the petition, the Malaysian government is encouraged to consider the following:
– Allowing Malaysian or foreign residents in Malaysia to leave the country to visit their spouse and (young) children abroad as long as they promise to comply with the SOP when returning.
– Allowing spouses and (young) children of Malaysians or foreign residents in Malaysia to enter Malaysia even if they don’t have a residence permit (yet) as long as they promise to comply with the SOP when returning.
– Allowing unmarried couples to meet by permitting Malaysians or foreign residents in Malaysia to leave the country to travel to their partner abroad or for their partners to enter Malaysia for the purpose of visiting or getting married, as long as they provide proof that they are in a durable relationship and as long as all comply with the SOP when entering or returning.
A supporter, Demar Jon Ransom said on the petition page, “Me and my fiance from Malaysia were supposed to get married early this year in the United States, under the K-1 Visa. It’s been one year since we’ve seen each other, so this is something especially important to me.”
“Thank you everyone who has acknowledged this petition and cares about the people being separated. It truly means a lot,” he continued.
Malaysian social media users are using the hashtags #LoveIsNotTourism and #LoveIsEssential to get the government’s attention on this issue.
As of now, the petition has been signed by nearly 4,000 people. Showing support could help the Malaysian government to consider the safest way to reunite them.
Some countries like Austria, Netherlands, Norway and Denmark have already started the initiative by introducing “sweetheart cards” that exempt couples from the travel ban.
You can show your support by signing the petition, or if you’re in said situation, you can fill in the Google doc here to help Love Is Not Tourism Malaysia to learn more about the situations of couples and families who are currently unable to reunite.