Sunday, October 17, 2021

Covid spike in Singapore won’t hinder efforts to reopen border, says Johor MB

He says both sides have been taking preparatory measures, with Singapore considering the administration of vaccine booster shots.

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The hike in Covid-19 cases in Singapore will not hinder talks between the republic and Malaysia on cross-border movements between the two countries, Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad says.

He said this is because both countries are taking preparatory measures, including Singapore which is supplying every family with a Covid-19 test kit and mulling giving a third Covid-19 vaccine dose.

“The increase in Covid-19 cases in Singapore is not seen as an obstacle to our efforts to discuss (reopening the borders). Previously, the Malaysia-Singapore Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) schemes were postponed because we were looking for a way to combat Covid-19.

“But we already have vaccines and Singapore has also been thinking about a third dose and so on… so it will not be an obstacle,” he told a media conference after the 2021 Virtual Majestic Johor Tourism Week and the launch of the Johor Tourism Interchange (JTI) yesterday.

On Oct 2, Bernama reported that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had told Hasni to hold talks with Singapore on cross-border movement, especially for Malaysians commuting there for work.

Hasni said the technical committee on the opening of the Malaysia-Singapore border had agreed with the SOPs suggested by the state government.

He said the health ministry, which functions as a secretariat to the senior minister line-up, would set the date for the tabling of the SOPs before further discussions are held with Singapore.

On the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), Hasni said the prime minister had agreed to include the project to widen the expressway from Yong Peng to Johor Bahru as one of the infrastructural development programmes.

In the meantime, Hasni said the state government had agreed to allocate RM1.5 million in the form of vouchers to be given to tourists to the state through the JTI application launched today.

“Through the application, tourists can benefit from discounts or incentives of our tourism sector products,” he said.

The JTI application was specially designed to highlight tourist attractions and facilities provided in the state, including information on interesting places, navigation systems and a picture gallery of iconic places in Johor.

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