After Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir. Hasni Mohammad stated that the recent increase in COVID-19 positive cases in Malaysia, including Johor, may have delayed efforts to reopen the borders between Malaysia and Singapore while addressing the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Johor Writers Association at Rumah Citra Sri Pinang, the border issue was raised again in the Johor State Legislative Assembly.
State Tourism, Youth and Sports committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi answered the questions raised by Stulang, Sri Medan and Johor Jaya.
“The State Government is aware of the importance of opening the Johor-Singapore borders especially for the tourism sector. The MB has brought this matter up to Putrajaya on a weekly basis, not only at the National Security Council (MKN) meeting but also to the National Economic Action Council (NEAC). Johor state is the first state in Malaysia to be given space to present its economic status to the NEAC.”
He added that to open the Johor-Singapore borders, it requires two main recipes:
Co-operation of all parties
There must be an understanding and agreement between the State Government, the Federal Government and of course, the Government of Singapore.
Health and safety factors
COVID-19 figures should be low in both countries.
What happened to the travel bubble?
The announcement of the travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was seen as a glimmer of hope as it could be replicated for Johor and Singapore.
However, on 21st November 2020, the day before its implementation, the Singapore government announced the cancellation of the travel bubble.
On the bright side, the Johor border restrictions are relaxed with the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and the Periodic Commuting Agreement (PCA) for Malaysians working in Singapore.