Covid-19: Malaysia, Singapore to intensify cooperation at Johor Causeway

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said he had an informal meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan pertaining to the Johor Causeway which recorded 250,000 movements daily. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said he had an informal meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan pertaining to the Johor Causeway which recorded 250,000 movements daily. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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VIENTIANE, Feb 20 ― Malaysia and Singapore will intensify cooperation at the busy Johor Causeway in an effort to address the spread of Covid-19 infection.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said he had an informal meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan pertaining to the Johor Causeway which recorded 250,000 movements daily.

“I hope that officials in both countries will communicate and intensify their cooperation in handling the Covid-19 transmission at the causeway.

“If we don’t do it (cooperation) properly, it (Covid-19 infection) will spread. Therefore, we need to monitor the causeway together,” he told Bernama after attending the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Asean and China in dealing with Covid-19 outbreak here today.

The meeting was co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Phillippines Teodoro L. Locsin.

At the meeting, a video was played showing Asean member countries’ support for China in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Saifuddin said Asean member states also expressed confidence that China would successfully cope with the outbreak.

“At today’s meeting, Asean also offered to help China to solve the problem,” he said.

Saifuddin said the meeting today marked a commitment between Asean member countries to share information and enhance cooperation, including in the health sector, in the fight against the virus.

He said the outbreak was expected to continue in the next several months and that all Asean member countries and China agreed to devise a strategy to reduce the economic impact following the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We understand that the virus will continue for several months. Therefore, we need to overcome the (challenges) of the (Asean) economic issues especially in the field of tourism,” he said.

“We need to have a mutual understanding, especially in terms of limiting tourist arrivals. No point for one country to be firm while others aren’t,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wang Yi also praised Asean leaders and people’s solidarity with China in managing the Covid-19 outbreak.

“China values this friendship,” he said. ― Bernama

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