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Leaders of Malaysia, Singapore to discuss reopening of border: Hishammuddin

Leaders of Malaysia, Singapore to discuss reopening of border: Hishammuddin

The Causeway as dawn breaks on Mar 18, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

KLUANG: Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to discuss the reopening of the border with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong early May, said Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday (Apr 12).

Mr Hishammudin told reporters he will "make sure" that the Malaysia-Singapore border reopening is included in the agenda when the two leaders meet in Singapore.​​​​​​​ The Star reported on Monday that Mr Muhyiddin will make an official visit to Singapore to meet Mr Lee on May 4.

He said the issue was discussed during Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan's visit to Malaysia in late March, adding that he will also pay an official visit to Singapore in the near future.

READ: Singapore, Malaysia to work towards recognising COVID-19 vaccine certificates, 'progressively restore' cross-border travel

When Dr Balakrishnan met Mr Hishammuddin in Malaysia on Mar 23, both countries said they are committed to "progressively restore" cross-border travel for other groups of travellers, in addition to the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

In a joint statement by their foreign ministries, Singapore and Malaysia reaffirmed their commitment to work towards recognising each other's COVID-19 vaccine certificates, with a view towards facilitating cross-border travel in the future.

"The two ministers had a constructive discussion on their respective national vaccination roll-out plans which are underway in Malaysia and Singapore, and how this could facilitate cross-border travel between both countries in the near future," said the statement.

Dr Balakrishnan also said then that Singapore would review the suspension of the RGL arrangement with Malaysia.

Singapore suspended the arrangement on Feb 1 for three months due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Commentary: A digital vaccine passport could open up Southeast Asia travel bubble but some changes needed first

READ: Johor state govt to launch COVID-19 vaccination app for Malaysians who commute to Singapore

On the vacancy for the Malaysian High Commissioner’s post in Singapore, Mr Hishammuddin on Monday said the appointment process was still ongoing, with several technical matters being studied by the foreign ministry.

Bilateral relations were nonetheless not affected by the absence of a high commissioner, said Mr Hishammuddin.

The post was last held by Mr Zainol Rahim Zainuddin who retired in April last year.

Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Radzi Jamaludin is currently holding the post in an acting capacity.

Source: CNA/bernama/jt

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