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JOHOR BAHRU, Nov 24 -- The implementation of the land and air Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) will act as a catalyst to spur the post COVID-19 economic recovery in both countries, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said.
He said that it was especially true for Johor, as the state was Singapore’s nearest neighbour and the presence of Singaporean travellers would stimulate the economy, as the island state had long been Johor’s biggest investor.
The VTL represented a ray of happiness to Malaysians and Singaporeans, allowing the resumption of ties that were ‘severed’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, he added, saying that it would bring much needed relief to citizens in both countries following the closing of borders almost 20 months ago.
"With the implementation of the VTL, husbands and wives can meet with their families again, children can be with their parents, and citizens on both sides can visit their relatives once again.
"More importantly, the long wait for many Malaysians working in Singapore to return home again has ended,” he said in a statement here tonight.
He said the government was very pleased as the reopening of the border with Singapore would always be prioritised and they would always provide suggestions to ensure that the implementation of the land VTL would be realised.
"In welcoming this VTL, the government, with the assistance of various state and federal agencies will not compromise in the aspects of security and public health,” he said.
According to him, compliance of the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be intensified to avoid the spread of COVID-19 as both countries could ill-afford another round of border closures.
On Nov 18, Hasni announced that the land VTL via the Johor Causeway and Second Link would be expected to open simultaneously, with the air VTL between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) starting on Nov 29.
The land journey between Singapore and Johor Bahru will only involve long-term pass holders for those working in Singapore and Johor Bahru.
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