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The parenthesis prevents cron from launching a separate subshell for each part: so that the script sees the cd. Some scripts may get a configuration file from their working directory, hence the need for the cd.
Duplicate access is needed to prevent abuse. If changing to /etc/Testing/ fails we don't want to run scripts.pl in / .
Actually, it will attempt to run scripts.pl in either case, but will fail unless there is a scripts.pl in crond's working directory. Replacing the ; with && would prevent crond from even thinking about running scripts.pl.
Well, it will try to run /etc/Testing/scripts.pl (with no luck), rather than ./scripts.pl in crond's working dir, that's what I meant. Surely, && is also an option, but if crond job works, I guess it won't be touched.