JOHOR BARU, Jan 17 — Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian denied there has been a drop in Singaporeans visiting the state due to the tense maritime and airspace standoff.
“I believe there is no decline in Singaporeans visiting Johor despite reports of the cancelled tours.
“I share State Women and Tourism Development Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung’s view yesterday that we (Johor) continue to receive tourists from Singapore,” he said after attending the pre-launch event of the Johor International Islamic and Halal Festival 2019 at the Double Tree by Hilton here today.
Osman said he believes that the issue has had a minimal impact on Johor.
His brief comment was in response to a Sin Chew Daily report on Tuesday claiming that Singapore tourists had cancelled their planned visits to Johor due to rising tensions between both countries.
Yesterday, Liow maintained that Johor was still receiving tourists from Singapore, although some of them are said to have cancelled their visits here to shop, ahead of Chinese New Year celebration.
She said Malaysia and Singapore continue to enjoy close ties, and maintain mutual harmony with each other.
“We share the same cultural heritage and social relations and I do not see how constructive discussion between the two countries will affect the good relations between the two neighbours,” Liow said in a statement yesterday.
On Tuesday, Sin Chew Daily reported that the recent tensions between Malaysia and Singapore led to the cancellation of several day tours to Johor.
It said groups of Singaporeans who organised such shopping trips expressed concern over the strained relations between both countries, and had decided to cancel the day trips to avoid unexpected complications.