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COVID-19: Johor hopes talks on reopening Malaysia-Singapore borders will resume

COVID-19: Johor hopes talks on reopening Malaysia-Singapore borders will resume

View of the Woodlands Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia on Jan 22, 2021. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

JOHOR BAHRU: With Malaysia's COVID-19 immunisation programme under way, Johor's chief minister hopes negotiations on travel arrangements between the country and Singapore will resume.

"Opening of borders, the green travel bubble, all other arrangements should be considered upon completion of vaccination," Hasni Mohammad told reporters before receiving his vaccination on Monday (Mar 1).

He added that those who received the COVID-19 vaccination would be given a certificate as proof.

Several states in Malaysia remain under COVID-19 restrictions which limit or prohibit interstate and inter-district travel.

Hasni emphasised that any decision to reopen borders should take into account the Health Director-General’s statement that the government would only revisit the movement control order (MCO) when 80 per cent of the population has been inoculated. 

IN FOCUS: After grappling with COVID-19 for more than a year, is Malaysia finally turning the corner? 

Coordinating Minister for Malaysia’s National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, Khairy Jamaluddin, said separately on Monday that registration for the vaccine remains low.

So far, about 1.5 million people have registered for the vaccination via the MySejahtera mobile app. This is about 6.1 per cent of the 80 per cent target set for the country.

Khairy said this percentage is expected to increase after Mar 5, when registrations can be conducted over the phone and online.

Singapore on Feb 1 suspended reciprocal green lane (RGL) arrangements with Malaysia, Germany, South Korea for three months.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said Singapore regularly reviews its border measures to manage the risk of importation and onward local transmission of COVID-19 from travellers. The RGL arrangements will be reviewed at the end of the suspension period.

Malaysia citizens who are permanent residents working in Singapore were eligible to apply for the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) scheme from Jan 11 this year.

Previously, the PCA was open only to Singaporeans and Malaysians who hold long-term immigration passes in the other country.

The scheme allows Malaysian workers in Singapore to apply for short-term leave after working in Singapore for at least 90 consecutive days.

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