Johor’s economy set to recover after reopening of international borders, says mayor

Singapore vehicles wait at the Sultan Abu Bakar Immigration, Customs and Quarantine Complex in Iskandar Puteri, April 1, 2022. — Bernama pic
Singapore vehicles wait at the Sultan Abu Bakar Immigration, Customs and Quarantine Complex in Iskandar Puteri, April 1, 2022. — Bernama pic

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JOHOR BARU, April 12 — The city centre’s economic recovery here has directly benefited from the federal government’s move to reopen the country’s international borders since the start of this month, said Johor Baru mayor Datuk Mohd Noorazam Osman

He said it was because the reopening of the borders, especially the Malaysia-Singapore border here, had restored public confidence in local economic recovery efforts.

“This can be seen when the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) had a significant increase in tax revenue collection since the reopening of the borders on April 1.

“Even though the border has just been reopened, there has been an increase in revenue tax collection compared to the situation in the last two years,” he said.

Mohd Noorazam added that MBJB also noticed an increase in its business license applications.

“This shows that the local community’s confidence with the economic recovery efforts are in-line with the country entering the endemic phase,” he said, responding to the federal government’s decision to reopen the international borders that saw hundreds of thousands of people crossing the Johor Causeway since April 1.

Mohd Noorazam said this after officiating the MBJB Bubur Lambuk Mega programme with the JDT Foundation at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Youth Centre (TMIYC) here today.

Also present was Johor deputy state secretary (Sports, Youth and Volunteers) Datuk On Jabbar.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed in 2020, Johor Baru was known as a city that operated round-the-clock.

The state capital’s unique business mix of food and services such as car wash centres, workshops and hotels catered to a substantial number of Singaporeans who only needed to take a short trip across the Causeway.

With the reopening, businesses in the city centre here welcomed the long-awaited announcement late last month as many have been hit hard in the last two years, with some shutting for good, due to the lockdown and border closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Johor has two main land border checkpoints, with the main Causeway that connects to Bangunan Sultan Iskandar’s Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) in Johor Baru and the Second Link Crossing, located near Gelang Patah in Iskandar Puteri.

Both border checkpoints have been described as one of the world’s busiest international border crossings prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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