Measures in place as border reopening talks continue

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad. - Filepic/The Star

JOHOR BARU: The increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Singapore will not stop efforts to reopen Malaysia’s border with the island republic says Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

He said both countries have put in place preventive measures to contain the spread of the virus and to protect its citizens.

“I don’t see that (increase in cases) as an obstacle in our efforts to discuss (border reopening).

“When the Reciprocal Green Lane was suspended or the Periodic Commuting Arrangement was not carried out, it was because we were waiting for more methods to deal with Covid-19.

“However, we now have various kinds of vaccines and Singapore is also looking into getting a third jab for its citizens.

“I was also informed that each family on the island republic has been given self-test kits.

“With all these measures in place, I don’t see any problem in us carrying on with our discussion,” he said, during a press conference after launching the Johor Tourism Interchange and opening ceremony of the Virtual Majestic Johor Week 2021 here yesterday.

Hasni was responding to a question on whether the number of cases in Singapore would affect efforts to reopen the border.

On Sunday, some 2,057 Covid-19 cases were reported in Singapore, including 1,676 new infections in the community, 373 new cases in migrant worker dormitories and eight imported cases.

As of Sunday, the total number of cases in Singapore stood at 103,843.

On another matter, Hasni also noted the technical committee overseeing the reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore border has agreed to standard operating procedure suggestions proposed by the state government.

“The technical committee has agreed to the SOP and now we are waiting to get the nod from the senior ministers.

“The Health Ministry would decide on a date for the proposal to be presented to the senior ministers and once they accept, we would begin talks with Singapore,” he said.

On Sept 23, Hasni said that Johor would be submitting its proposal to Putrajaya for the reopening of the border with Singapore through the Daily Commuting Arrangement.

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