NRC to review reopening of M’sian borders

ASILA JALIL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE National Recovery Council (NRC) will look into plans to reopen the country’s international borders and allow entrance for tourists as well as for Malaysians to travel abroad.

The council’s chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the issue will be studied this week with the ministers involved in the council meeting.

“The matter on reopening of borders was raised in the meeting earlier and it is being fine-tuned by the ministers involved.

“It will be discussed to enable Malaysians to travel to destinations that accept those who have been fully vaccinated,” said Muhyiddin after chairing the council’s first meeting yesterday.

Among those present at the meeting included Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar and Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.

The former prime minister (PM) said the decision on border reopening to allow entrance of tourists, entrepreneurs and visitors will have a great impact on the nation.

“Therefore, I suggested for the matter to be reviewed and it was agreed to by those present earlier to be discussed with and approval from PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Hopefully, it will be announced in the near term,” he said.

Muhyiddin added that interstate travel might be allowed by mid-October, as the vaccination rate reaches 90% of the adult population.

Meanwhile, other matters raised in the meeting yesterday were the resumption and operation plans of higher education institutions, the reopening of schools and the current status of Covid-19 cases in the country.

“I am satisfied with the presentation made by the health minister regarding the current Covid-19 situation and the rate of utilisation for intensive care unit beds, which have shown a decline.

“And also his presentation on the availability of vaccines for booster shots for all adult population in the country, which was a result of a decision made earlier to order a number of vaccines more than what is needed by the country’s population,” Muhyiddin added.

Last week, Ismail Sabri announced that the government will allow interstate travel after 90% of the adult population have been fully vaccinated based on data and analysis by the Health Ministry.

He said the Special Committee on Pandemic Management agreed to open other holiday destinations and islands subject to the same requirement.

Moving forward, Muhyiddin said the NRC will focus on the recovery of the country as a whole, which involves affected sectors and groups that need to be given priority in the recovery process.