Travel lane to open soon

Guest enjoying a conversation during the reception to mark Indonesia’s 76th anniversary.

THE Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) is expected to be open between Malaysia and Indonesia by early next year once several technical issues have been resolved.

Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono said Indonesian officials visited Malaysia about a week ago to conduct a technical inspection on the proposed VTL.

“The inspection was conducted smoothly and the technical teams went to Singapore to conduct the same inspection there,” he said.

Hermono said there were three main technical issues that were being looked into.

They are the inter-operability of the Malaysian MySejahtera and Indonesian Peduli Lindungi apps, mutual recognition of vaccines and standardisation of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) Covid-19 tests.

He said these three issues would be cleared before both countries could open the travel corridor as hoped by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo in their earlier meeting in Jakarta last month.

Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to implement the Travel Corridor Arrangement or VTL arrangement between the two nations as both are recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hermono presentinga plate of nasi tumpeng to Chow as a symbol of gratitude for the good relations between Malaysia and Indonesia. With them is Suharto (centre).Hermono presentinga plate of nasi tumpeng to Chow as a symbol of gratitude for the good relations between Malaysia and Indonesia. With them is Suharto (centre).

Ismail Sabri reportedly said the relevant ministers would refine the initiative so that the border between the two countries involving the Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur-Bali-Kuala Lumpur routes could be opened.

Hermono earlier entertained Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow at a diplomatic reception in Penang to mark the 76th anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia.

In his speech at the event held at G Hotel Gurney, Hermono said the reception was supposed to be held in August but was delayed due to the pandemic.

He thanked Chow for attending the reception as the guest of honour.

“Your presence tonight has a significant meaning for us,” he told Chow.

Hermono said that despite the threat of the new Omicron variant, he remained confident that together, the world could overcome the difficult situation.

Also at the reception were Indonesian consul-general Bambang Suharto, Indonesian Embassy and state officials, consul-generals and honorary consul-generals from other countries.

Guests were served various Indonesian specialities including sosis solo, soto ayam, es teler and lotus leaf rice.

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