Mutual recognition of vaccine certs to boost border travel

PAGOH: Malaysia and Singapore will recognise each other’s Covid-19 vaccine certificates to allow for movement across the border, says National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin(pic).Muhyiddin said he recently discussed the importance of the border reopening for both nations with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“Lee agreed to this but with the Covid-19 situation and vaccination (programme) in Malaysia and Singapore yet to be over, he was a bit cautious. However, our bilateral ties remain strong, including daily business affairs,” he added.

Muhyiddin, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president, said this after chairing a Johor Bersatu meeting at the party’s Pagoh division headquarters yesterday.The former prime minister added that currently, only lorries and trailers driven by those who had been vaccinated in Singapore are allowed to move via the Causeway and Second Link.

He said among the factors to be considered before reopening the border are a consensus on a suitable timing, Singapore’s agreement to reopen the border and a heightened completed vaccination rate.

“We will also recognise each other’s vaccination certificates, which will enable movement between Malaysia and Singapore,” he said.

The Pagoh MP added that border reopening plans are always on the government’s agenda at all levels of meetings as the country aims to accommodate the people and foreign tourists.

“What is certain is that once the vaccination rate has increased and the country becomes much safer, all borders in Malaysia will be opened,” he said.

On the NRC, he said it will hold its first meeting on Monday and look at the unemployment rate brought on by the pandemic.

“One of the measures taken by the government during my administration that is continuing is helping workers keep their jobs by providing subsidies for their employers,” he said.

He said unemployment among graduates is not a result of the pandemic but a longstanding issue.

“During my time as prime minister, I chaired the National Employment Council and I expect Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to continue having the council, whose objective is to generate 500,000 jobs for locals.

“I believe we are getting nearer to the target as we have lots of job opportunities. This does not take into account new investments coming into the country,” he added.

He said investments in Malaysia jumped to 200% from last year and would help generate more jobs.

The NRC, he said, will also handle the issue of the under-employed to help them increase their income.

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