ALOR GAJAH, April 1 — The Melaka government is awaiting the federal government’s approval for the reopening of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex at the Melaka-Dumai International Ferry Terminal at Bandar Hilir here.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said the restarting of operations at the complex involves several procedures that need to be followed including compliance with Covid-19 standard operation procedures (SOP).

“So far, tourists arrive via the land routes in Melaka. As for the sea routes, we are waiting (for approval) from the federal government as this will involve the opening of the country’s borders when visitors from Indonesia will arrive in Melaka via ferries.

“In addition,  this decision (approval) will involve several agencies at the federal level including the Marine Department and Immigration Department,’’ he told reporters after the state government’s meet-the-customers programme and the launch of the Taman Bandar Baru Masjid Tanah Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) Digital Economy Centre (PEDi) here today.

The Melaka-Dumai International Ferry Terminal ICQ Complex is one of the entry-exit gateways for Indonesians via Dumai, but the route had been closed following the border closure between Malaysia and Indonesia due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Malaysia is still waiting for Indonesia and Brunei to be ready to open their borders. Meanwhile, the government has already stated the general protocol for travellers entering Malaysia and is also ready to hold talks with the two above-mentioned countries if there is a request.

Elaborating, Sulaiman said all travel industry players in Melaka are ready to receive tourists, especially from Singapore, after the reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore border which began at midnight.

He said the arrival of tourists from Singapore into Melaka is expected to increase but all parties including the tourism sector and tourists are advised to comply with the set SOP to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“However, we hope the reopening of borders will help revive the state’s economic sector and income of the people, but we cannot be negligent or careless as otherwise, they may be a sudden increase in positive (Covid-19) cases,” he added. — Bernama