Health Minister: Govt looking at fully reopening M'sia-S'pore in January

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Health Ministry is looking at the possibility of fully reopening the Malaysia-Singapore border for daily commuters in January.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said on Friday (Sept 11) that the recovery movement control order (MCO) period over the next four months would be an important time for the country as it would determine if it was possible to reopen the border with Singapore fully.

He said during this time a more systematic approach would be taken in such areas as border control, physical distancing and the use of personal protective equipment.

“We cannot use a trial-and-error approach,” he added.

He also said the ministry was looking at doubling its capacity in swab tests for travellers under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) plans.

Dr Adham said in considering whether to fully open the border, the ministry had to consider people's livelihood, which had been affected by Covid-19.

“We must find a balance as both the economy and health are very important matters,” he said after attending the unveiling of a tribute to frontliners in the form of a mural constructed from Lego bricks at the Legoland Malaysia Resort here on Friday.

The mural was unveiled by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad, Dr Adham and Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Hasni said the state government would continue to push Putrajaya to open up the border with Singapore as soon as possible.

“Johor wants the border to be fully open for daily commuters and not just with the RGL and PCA.

“Prior to RGL and PCA, there was already movement between the two countries, with Malaysia sending cargo containing medical and food supplies,” he said.

On Thursday (Sept 10), Hasni said in the Johor Assembly that the state was able to conduct more than 2,000 Covid-19 tests daily for those going to and from Singapore under RGL and PCA.

He said up to Aug 31, 320 individuals had travelled to and from Singapore under RGL, with another 8,270 under the PCA.
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