Use Second Link for VTL-Land, M’sia and S’pore told

JOHOR BARU: Both the Malaysia and Singapore governments are urged to consider extending the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL-Land) to the Second Link to allow more Malaysians to return home for the Chinese New Year.

The Johor Mentri Besar’s adviser, Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, said an increase in bus trips should also be discussed as those stranded across the border have been apart from their families for close to two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Since all the states in the country are currently in the fourth phase of the National Recovery Plan, and a significant number of people have received their Covid-19 booster shots, expanding the VTL should be discussed by the leaders of both countries.

“At present, VTL-Land is only implemented at the Causeway in Johor Baru, so perhaps it can be extended to include the Second Link at Gelang Patah as well.

“I sympathise with those who have been kept apart by the border closure, and extending the VTL-Land to the Second Link is something they have been looking forward to,” he said.

Tee, who is also the Pontian MCA chief, added that many Malaysians working in Singapore have been unable to return since the border closure in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

When both governments implemented the VTL-Air and VTL-Land in Nov 29 last year, thousands of relieved Malaysians rushed to purchase tickets to return home.

“However, the VTL has since been temporarily suspended due to the Omicron variant, and the hopes of those who did not manage to get their flight or bus tickets before that were dashed.

“While the Covid-19 situation is ever-changing, both nations have done a good job in curbing the virus. Malaysia will also go into an endemic phase soon,” he said.

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