Coronavirus: British international school in Johor at risk of closure as students can't cross border

The school's students could not commute daily between their school and Singapore due to the border being closed.
The school's students could not commute daily between their school and Singapore due to the border being closed.PHOTO: ST FILE

JOHOR BARU • A top British international school located in Iskandar Puteri is at risk of closing down after eight years due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad.

Datuk Hasni said that the school's students, numbering between 800 and 900, could not commute daily between their school and Singapore as the border has remained generally shut from mid-March.

"I received a letter from the school asking for help from the state government to find a way to allow their students to travel daily to attend classes.

"In the letter, the school also described the challenges it is going through, where it is facing the possibility of having to shut down as it is unable to operate as usual," Mr Hasni said in his speech during the Johor media club's annual general assembly held at a hotel in the state capital on Thursday night.

He said it would be a huge loss for Johor if an international-level educational institution had to cease operations.

According to the Menteri Besar, the state would be discussing the matter with Putrajaya soon. Mr Hasni said he would be meeting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and urging the federal government to speed up discussions on reopening the border with Singapore for daily commuters.

In another matter, the Johor Menteri Besar said that Malaysia's Foreign Ministry would be presenting a paper to the Cabinet soon on the opening of a Johor government office in Singapore that focuses on economy, trade and culture.

"We believe that with our presence in Singapore, we would be able to explore more collaboration between us and them. Our interest with Singapore is not limited to only trade matters, but also in other areas such as water resources and water boundaries.

"These are issues that require good relations between Singapore and Johor," he said.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2020, with the headline 'British international school in Johor at risk of closure as students can't cross border'. Print Edition | Subscribe