BANGKOK: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s official visit to Thailand this week is expected to bring “good news” on the reopening of Thai-Malaysian land border.
Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel said Ismail Sabri’s three-day visit, the first since he was appointed prime minister last August, was at the invitation of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha.
This is also the first visit by a Malaysian prime minister to the Kingdom since the start of the global Covid-19 pandemic two years ago.
Jojie said matters to be discussed during the visit included the reopening of land borders, bilateral cooperation and the exploration of trade and investment opportunities.“There will be some good news (on the reopening of land borders). A few proposals are on the table.
“Senior officials and a technical committee will discuss the details on the reopening,” he told Bernama after attending the Kelab Malaysia of Thailand (KMT) Chinese New Year dinner event.
Jojie added that there would be discussion on recognising vaccination certificates.
Ismail Sabri is scheduled to visit Bangkok from Feb 24 to 26.
Last week, Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry’s deputy spokesman Natapanu Nopakun said Thailand was planning to reopen the Thailand-Malaysia border in March to boost tourist arrivals, as Malaysian tourists have been the largest group of visitors to the kingdom.
He said the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and Tourism Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) has been ordered to prepare and outline pandemic mitigation measures for the southern border provinces of Songkhla, Narathiwat, Yala and Satun.
Natapanu said tourists from Malaysia will enter Thailand via quarantine-free “Test & Go” programmes. However, travellers need to pass two RT-PCR tests on Day 1 on arrival and the second on Day 5.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Thailand recorded 4.1 million Malaysian tourists in 2019.