Johor MB: Spike in Covid-19 cases in Singapore won’t hamper talks to reopen borders

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad during the winding-up session on the last day of the State Legislative Assembly sitting at Bangunan Sultan Ismail, Kota Iskandar, September 7, 2021. — Bernama
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad during the winding-up session on the last day of the State Legislative Assembly sitting at Bangunan Sultan Ismail, Kota Iskandar, September 7, 2021. — Bernama

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JOHOR BARU, Oct 5 — 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 Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said this was because both countries were making preparatory measures, including Singapore which is supplying every family with a Covid-19 test kit and mulling giving the third Covid-19 vaccine dose.

“The increase in Covid-19 cases in Singapore is not seen as an obstacle to our effort 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 launching of the Johor Tourism Interchange (JTI) here, today.

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

Meanwhile, Hasni said the technical committee on the opening of the Malaysia-Singapore border had agreed with the standard operating procedure (SOP) suggested by the state government.

He said the Ministry of Health, which functioned as a secretariat to the senior minister line-up, would set the date for the tabling of the SOP before further discussions are held with Singapore.

Commenting 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 under the 12MP.

In the meantime, Hasni said that in a bid to further boost domestic tourism, 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 places of tourist attractions and facilities provided in the state, including information on interesting places, navigation system, picture gallery of iconic places in Johor and others. — Bernama

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