JOHOR BARU, Oct 18 — The full reopening of the borders between Malaysia and Singapore will see a revival of Johor’s domestic economy that has been hit due to Covid-19, said the South Johor Hawkers and Petty Traders Association today.
Its chairman Datuk Yow Boon Choon said that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Singaporean shoppers contributed between 30 to 40 per cent to the state’s economy.
“Due to the preferred currency exchange, Singaporeans are known to come [to Johor] to shop.
“Malaysians who are working in Singapore also prefer to spend here domestically and in a way, they are also contributing to Johor’s domestic economy.
“However due to the border closure, which has been more than a year now, they have no choice but to spend in Singapore similar to Singaporeans,” said Yow after a morning market visit in Taman Pelangi here.
Also present was Stulang assemblyman Andrew Chen Kah Eng.
The topic of the reopening of the border between Malaysia and Singapore was an ongoing issue being discussed between the two countries as there was a need to fully reopen after so many employment and business sectors were affected for more than a year.
Yow, who is also the Malaysia Federation of Hawkers and Petty Traders Associations president, said the impact from the border closure with Singapore was felt by many businesses in Johor, especially those around the city area here.
He said that he has sent a working paper to the state government hoping that it would help in pushing for the full reopening of the Causeway and Second Link crossings as soon as possible.
On the reopening of the morning and night markets under the National Recovery Plan since last Friday, Low said he thanked the government for the move.
He said the easing of restrictions has allowed many traders here to reopen their businesses since then.
“More than 90 per cent of the small traders around here have been fully vaccinated to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the authorities.
“The association also covered the cost of buying [thermometres], providing hand sanitisers and Rela personnel at 17 morning and night markets under Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) jurisdiction,” explained Low.
Meanwhile, Chen also donated RM3,000 to the association to help cover the cost of waste collection at the Taman Pelangi morning market.
He said the donation would help cushion the financial burden facing the traders that were just starting to reopen their business after months of closure due to the movement control order imposed to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.