JOHOR BARU, April 1 — What an emotional moment it was for the many Malaysians gathered here as they patiently waited for the reopening of the Johor Causeway, which has been described as the busiest land crossing in the world, at midnight.
Two minutes before the countdown, though, many people could be seen walking from the Singapore Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex towards Malaysia, resulting in those waiting over here to cheer with unbridled joy.
Shouts of “welcome back” and selamat kembali to Malaysia could be heard from those gathered at the R&F Mall near the Johor Causeway as they arrived in great fanfare, with fireworks being let off in the background.
The Johor Causeway and Linkedua Highway, which were so empty throughout the implementation of the movement control order (MCO), came alive again after two years with the reopening of the country’s borders from today.
The atmosphere around Johor Baru city was just as lively, with many converging there to wait for the arrival of their family members from Singapore, with some just turning up to bask in the historic occasion.
A Bernama observation found vehicles coming from the direction of Singapore also sounded their horns apart from passengers clapping in joy.
Meanwhile, Mohd Fauzan Hafizi Rosli, 33, who has been working as a technician in the republic for the past four years, shed tears of joy when asked how he felt about returning home.
The Kota Tinggi native was simply overjoyed to finally be able to meet his wife and children after two years.
“My wife does not know I am coming back, hope to give her a surprise… it has been such a long time I have not seen my family.
“Thank you to the governments of Malaysia and Singapore for making the border opening a success,” he said when met at the CIQ at Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB), in Gelang Patah here.
Mohd Fauzan said what made today’s event more meaningful is that Malaysians finally get to return home just as Muslims are about to welcome Ramadan.
“For the last two years, I celebrated Hari Raya in a foreign country. I’m overwhelmed with emotion... I don’t know how to face my wife and kids,” he said.
On March 25, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong, in a joint statement, said both countries had agreed to reopen their land borders for fully vaccinated travellers beginning April 1.
Malaysia and Singapore will also allow fully vaccinated travellers to cross the land borders without the need to take the Covid-19 pre-departure and arrival tests or be quarantined. — Bernama