JOHOR BARU: With over a quarter million being inoculated in Singapore, the time is right for the two land crossings with the island republic to be reopened to those who have been vaccinated.
Johor MCA Covid-19 pandemic task force chief Michael Tay said that it had been almost a year since the border was closed on March 18 last year during the movement control order.
“I think the time is right to allow Singaporeans who have been vaccinated to come into Malaysia without having to be quarantined.
“There are many families who have not seen each other for almost a year and Singaporeans also own many properties and businesses here.
“I am sure they will be eager to want to come in and check on them, ” he said.
He stressed that besides Singaporeans, some Malaysians in the island republic had also been vaccinated as they were working as frontliners or in critical sectors.
Singapore began its Covid-19 vaccination exercise on Dec 30, with healthcare workers at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases the first to get the shots.
As of Sunday, about 379,000 people in Singapore have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Of these, more than 217,000 have received their second dose and completed the full vaccination regime.
Tay added that Malaysia should take the lead and allow Singaporeans who could prove that they have been vaccinated, into the country without having to be quarantined.
“Let us not be like Thailand which wants to impose a seven-day quarantine on those who have been vaccinated.
“Any form of quarantine on those who have been fully vaccinated will just deter them from coming here, ” he added.
Tay hoped that Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad would push the Federal Government to reopen the border to those who have been vaccinated as long as they have a document to prove that they have been vaccinated such as a vaccine passport, permit or certificate.
“Likewise, Singapore should also reciprocate and allow Malaysians who have been fully inoculated to start travelling into their country without having to be quarantined or serve any stay at home notices.
“However, as we just started our national immunisation programme this month, it will take some time for this to happen, ” he said, urging the government to allow for more private hospitals and clinics to sell the Covid-19 vaccines so that more people, especially workers, could be inoculated.
He added that the government rollout for the vaccination programme until February next year was too long and the impact on the workers and Johor’s economy would be bad.
“How long more do we want to keep the borders closed?
“I suggest that the government impose a ceiling price for the vaccines such as RM100 for the doses so that workers can take them privately and start going back to work, ” he added.
Tay also commended Singapore’s move to start vaccinating cargo drivers who frequently sent goods to the country soon.
Cargo drivers entering Singapore from Malaysia via the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints are currently required to undergo Covid-19 antigen rapid testing, which can return results within half an hour.
The drivers will be allowed to enter Singapore if their results are negative.