Singapore in talks with Malaysia on land crossings

Commuters take the Woodlands Causeway to Singapore from Johor a day before Malaysia imposes a lockdown on travel due to the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore March 17, 2020. — Reuters pic
Commuters take the Woodlands Causeway to Singapore from Johor a day before Malaysia imposes a lockdown on travel due to the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore March 17, 2020. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, May 28 — Singapore is in discussion with Malaysia on issues related to workers who want to commute daily through both land crossings, said the republic’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

Although both countries currently have stricter travel measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, Wong said that eventually both will have to see how best they can accommodate the workers.

“We will look at putting the necessary protocols whether it is testing of workers or for that matter having them subject to some quarantine arrangement,” he said at the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on Covid-19’s virtual press conference here today.

Wong was asked whether the republic was in talks with Malaysia on the possibility of allowing workers to commute daily from Johor.

Wong, who is the co-chair of the taskforce, stressed that “the bottom line is that there will need to be new safeguards and precautions.”

“It will not go back to where it was before where you had such large volume of people moving up and down through our land crossings.

“I don’t think either side would want to see that happen without any safeguards of precautions in this new Covid-19 environment,” he said.

“The key is, I think, if we will have all that in place, we should be prepared that the volume of people sort of commuting daily will likely come down,” he added.

Besides land crossings, Wong said that Singapore is in talks with Malaysia on green lane arrangements, for which essential travel by air in limited numbers and with safeguards, could be conducted safely. — Bernama

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