Government considers opening country’s borders


THE government is mulling opening the country’s borders to fully vaccinated international travellers from selected countries without the need for quarantine.

Instead, there would be mutually recognised vaccine certificates as being implemented in several other countries.

National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this is a positive development in the process of opening the country’s borders, which will revive economic activities, especially the tourism sector, international conventions, retail as well as facilitate business and social visitors coming to the country.

“Opening of the international border has been considered for a long time.

“I hope the process of opening the country’s borders, which is an important aspect of the country’s recovery efforts, can be done safely and immediately,” he told reporters today after chairing an NRC meeting.

Muhyiddin stressed that opening the country’s borders would also allow Malaysians to go abroad without going  through cumbersome rules and regulations, while foreigners could come to the country by complying with the stipulated conditions.

“However, this matter is yet to be finalised,” he added.

He had been briefed by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar and was satisfied with the progress, especially in terms of the drop in daily Covid-19 cases, the use of intensive care unit ward beds for Covid-19 patients and the high vaccination rate among the adult population.

The MPN meeting, which lasted almost three hours, was also attended by representatives from opposition parties, namely Subang Member of Parliament (MP) Wong Chen (PKR), Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen (DAP), Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Amanah) and Tan Sri Bernard Dompok of UPKO.

Besides border opening, they discussed on focusing help for the two most affected groups in the country, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the underprivileged.

Muhyiddin said the NRC was of the view that a more detailed analysis is necessary to implement short and long-term solutions for affected industries based on the latest statistics.

“NRC has agreed to form a special task force committee, which includes the Finance Ministry, Bank Negara Malaysia,  the Trade and Industry Ministry, the Human Resources Ministry and other ministries, to refine matters concerning financing issues, as well as SME’s workforce.

“The council also agreed that the distribution of food aid to the vulnerable should be based on a ‘Nation Approach’.

“Non-governmental agencies also should play a role in helping agencies involved in this distribution of food aid,” Muhyiddin stressed.

Meanwhile, NRC left it to the government and the Election Commission (EC) to decide on the standard operating procedure for the election.

“We did not discuss about election in the meeting. We leave it to the government and the EC to decide,” he added.