Johor to present case to federal government on reopening border with Singapore

Johor will present its case to Putrajaya to fully reopen Malaysia's border with Singapore.
Johor will present its case to Putrajaya to fully reopen Malaysia's border with Singapore.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Johor will present its case to Putrajaya to fully reopen Malaysia's border with Singapore, which has been closed for the last seven months because of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad.

He said the state government will table its plan to the Economic Action Council (EAC) on Oct 19.

"I have asked the federal government to consider the state's request to fully open up our border with the island republic.

"The plan does not only cover the importance of opening our borders, but also includes those working in Singapore, as well as the impact on investments made in Johor," he said on Sunday (Oct 11).

Datuk Hasni said many sectors and businesses in Johor were badly affected because of the border closure, while many foreign investors have told the state government that they could no longer operate if the border closure continues.

"We know that the Malaysia and Singapore border is one of the world's busiest crossings. The tax collected on our side of the Causeway and Second Link contributes to 50 per cent of the Customs Department revenue.

"The government must not only consider our request, but must make a decision immediately as we cannot be in this position for much longer," he added.

He said besides businesses, thousands of Malaysians who commuted daily to Singapore for work could no longer do so and this has impacted them.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed said last week that the Malaysian government would continue to hold discussions with its Singapore counterparts on the full reopening of the two land crossings despite Malaysia seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases of late.

Datuk Seri Mustapa said this was among the government's main areas of focus, adding that it would continue to pursue a proper solution.

"We understand that Covid-19 pandemic has many risks and caused many problems but there must be a balance between health issues and economic issues.

"We are hopeful that when the time comes, the border will be reopened even if it is in stages, as it will help in the recovery of Johor's economy," he added.