Johor wants travel bubble with Singapore to continue


JOHOR BARU: The Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) should be continued in the interest of the industries and the state's economic activities as Singapore is also a stakeholder, says Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

"We respect Singapore's decision but we will be sending in a request to the Federal government on the matter as the decision involves the governments of two countries.

"I have forwarded the matter to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who will bring it up during the Cabinet meeting this Wednesday (Feb 3).

He said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is also expected to discuss it further with his Singapore counterpart.

During a virtual press conference on Sunday (Jan 31) Hasni said the RGL was important as it allowed many industries, which have Singaporean investors, to run their operations smoothly.

On the congestion at the Causeway and Second Link here following mandatory rapid testing for Covid-19 on all commercial vehicle drivers imposed by Singapore, Hasni said it would also be part of the recommendation to the Federal government.

"To ease the congestion at the two land links, Johor can do the testing at our side and maybe Singapore can absorb the payment as they are also bearing the cost for the testing at their entry points," he said.

Hasni also said to help ease the congestion, the operating hours at the Causeway should be longer than the current 12 hours between 7am and 7pm.

On Saturday (Jan 30), the Singapore government announced it would be suspending the RGL with Malaysia for three months starting on Feb 1.

Other than Malaysia, Singapore would also be suspending the RGL with the Republic of Korea and Germany.

In a statement, the island republic's home ministry said its government regularly reviewed its border measures to manage the risk of importation and onward local transmission of Covid-19 from travellers.

"Given the resurgence of Covid-19 cases worldwide, Singapore will be suspending the RGL arrangements with Germany, Malaysia, and the Republic of Korea, for a period of three months beginning from Monday (Feb 1).

"Singapore will review the RGL arrangements at the end of the suspension period. Travellers who have already been approved to enter Singapore under these RGL can continue to do so," it said.

The statement also said that Singapore would continue to monitor the global situation and adjust border measures to manage the risk of importation and transmission to the community.

"Any changes to border measures will be updated on the SafeTravel website. Travellers are advised to visit the website to check for the most updated border measures," it added.

Besides RGL, both Malaysia and Singapore also carried out Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) to allow cross-border travel between the two countries during the Covid-19 pandemic since Aug 17 last year.

The RGL enables cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between Malaysia and Singapore, for up to a maximum of 400 people a week, for stays up to two weeks.

PCA, on the other hand, allows residents of both countries who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country, to enter that country for work, up to a maximum of 2,000 people a day.

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