JOHOR BARU, April 19 — The reopening of the land border between Malaysia and Singapore since April 1 has provided much-needed relief to many parties, especially traders selling Aidilfitri necessities around the city.

A check by Bernama found that there were traders who had their hands full attending to both local and Singaporean customers who wanted to celebrate Aidilfitri with much joy, after more than two years of being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trader, Mohd Naharudin Isa, 53, who sells traditional and modern Raya cookies, said that he did not expect his stall, at the Angsana Johor Baru Mall here, to receive a very encouraging response from the public.

“I thought business would not be vibrant but Alhamdulillah when the government allowed the country’s borders to reopen and Singaporeans could enter, the response now is similar to the time before the Covid-19 pandemic,” he told Bernama here.

The owner of Nahar Power, who has been involved in the business for 20 years, said that the company now faced the problem of limited production due to a lack of manpower, but received high demand from customers.

Meanwhile, the owner of Su Home Bakers, Suhaiza Ibrahim, 45, also expressed her gratitude as her business has now recovered, and is currently busy meeting customer demand.

She said that the reopening of the borders, as well as the country entering the transition to endemic phase, has given new hope to traders like her.

“Before the pandemic, 80 per cent of our customers were Singaporeans. We experienced a severe decline (during the pandemic) with a pile of unsold stock,” said Suhaiza, who sells 50 types of Raya cookies.

Meanwhile, Singaporean, Nur’ Aida Purwantu Jame’at, 31, said that the reopening of the border between the two countries allowed her to find necessities for the Aidilfitri celebration in Johor Bahru, which offered various options.

“I have entered (Malaysia) twice since the border was reopened to look for Raya cookies, which are also for friends and relatives,” said the mother of two.

The country entered the transition to endemic phase from April 1 with some flexibilities, including the opening of the country’s borders, business premises can operate according to the time of their respective business licences and no physical distancing required when performing prayers at mosques and surau or religious ceremonies at other houses of worship. — Bernama