Federal Govt urged to open VTL with Singapore at Causeway simultaneously with VTL for air travellers

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 11 Nov 2021

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

JOHOR BARU: The Federal Government has been urged to consider opening a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Singapore at the Causeway simultaneously with VTL for air travellers between Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Changi Airport, which begins on Nov 29.

Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the matter was conveyed to the relevant ministry last week and had been discussed to make it easier for Malaysians working in Singapore to commute.

“Hopefully the Federal Government considers this matter. Maybe the amount allowed entering Singapore using land VTL for work is not as large as we expected but for a start between 300 to 500 people a day,” he added.

Hasni said this during a townhall session with Johor media organisations and Ihsan Johor Economic Stimulus Package (PRE 3.0) appreciation ceremony held here on Wednesday (Nov 10) evening.

He added that the state government requested the implementation date for a VTL via land be simultaneous with the VTL via air, according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) agreed by both countries.

Hasni expressed his hope that the land VTL can be a reality as it would benefit both sides' economies.

He said the state government has suggested the usage of public transportation such as busses and trains be used for the land VTL as it can be done in a controlled manner and according to the set time, similar with air travel.

“We also agreed to share the cost of building a second Business Travel Center (BTC) at the Causeway after the Federal government had previously allocated RM10mil for BTC on the Second Link, which is expected to operate next year.

“We will allocate RM5mil while the other RM5mil is borne by the Federal Government to build a second BTC at the Causeway that can test and screen Covid-19 for 100 people at a time,” he added.

Hasni also said the state government has applied to the Immigration Department for the BTC to operate 24 hours to enable more individuals to travel between the two countries.

On Monday (Nov 8), Malaysia and Singapore announced that they would reopen their mutual border with the VTL between Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Changi Airport from Nov 29.

Under the VTL, fully-vaccinated travellers would be able to travel between both countries, subject to a Covid-19 test, in lieu of serving a quarantine or Stay-Home Notice.

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