Singapore High Commissioner hopes to see VTL quota increased soon


A bus ferrying travellers into the Johor side of the Malaysia-Singapore border along the Causeway under the VTL-Land scheme. - THOMAS YONG/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vanu Gopala Menon is hopeful that the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) quota between Malaysia and Singapore can be increased in the months to come.

He told Bernama that discussions have been going on pertaining to the matter, but, decision to expand the numbers is subject to the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia and Singapore.

"We have now reduced the quota by 50 per cent, so the next step is perhaps to see whether we can increase the numbers. I would think that is a logical thing to do.

"Either that or go back to 100 per cent like it was before, but whether we can do that, I don't know. We’ll have to see how things evolve. All of us are hopeful that we can get there,” he said.

He was speaking after meeting with Bernama’s chairman Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi at the Malaysian National News Agency's headquarters, here on Friday (Jan 28).

The veteran diplomat noted that demand for travel has increased especially during festive seasons.

"I've been told that most of the flights especially for the month of February have all been booked. Maybe because Chinese people are coming back and forth to Singapore and Malaysia (for Chinese New Year).

"But people are generally happy to have the opportunity and the option to travel without quarantine,” he said.

The sale of bus and flight tickets for the land and air VTL between Malaysia and Singapore was reopened on Jan 21 but with a 50 per cent reduction in the number allowed to travel from what it was before.

Both countries suspended the ticket sales on Dec 23 following the threat of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

On Covid-19 situation in Singapore, Vanu said he is confident that things were moving towards normalcy soon, as Singaporeans have been very observant on the rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"There will be some restrictions, but I think we'll have to accept that some of these restrictions will remain in place for some time to come, like wearing a mask,” he said.- Bernama

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