Singapore asked to consider SOPs on border reopening

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE 

MUAR – The Singapore government has been asked to consider the standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore borders submitted by the Johor state government and approved by the federal government.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the government’s decision to allow interstate travel starting yesterday, must have affected Malaysians who are working in Singapore, to some extent.

“(They must have wondered) why they can’t return, can’t travel interstate and can’t travel back home.

He said the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore should not stop it from discussing the reopening of the borders of the two countries with the Johor state government and the Malaysian government.

He told reporters this after a walkabout with padi farmers in Sungai Balang, near here, during his visit to the Muar district yesterday.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the government’s decision to allow fully vaccinated individuals to make interstate travel without obtaining a police permit after Malaysia achieved the 90 per cent COVID-19 inoculation target it had set under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.

In addition, fully vaccinated individuals were also allowed to travel abroad without going through the Immigration Department’s MyTravelPass starting Oct 11.

Hasni said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had previously indicated that its ministry had discussed with Singapore, adding that the latter had asked for more time as it wanted to reduce the country’s positive COVID-19 cases before it could commence discussions on border reopening.

“(But) I think whatever the situation is in Singapore, the important thing is that we (Malaysians) have received the complete COVID-19 vaccine. That’s more important. To me, cases go up or down, is not an issue. I believe Singapore recognises that (vaccination rate).

“With full vaccination, we have to live with COVID-19. So, I hope, if that (vaccination) is accepted, border reopening will be possible,” he added.