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JOHOR BAHRU, Oct 4 -- Reopening the Malaysia-Singapore border remains an agenda and focus of the federal government in its discussions with the neighbouring country despite the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad said the government was cognisant of the numerous risks posed by the pandemic but felt that there should be a coherence between economy and health where reviving the economy was concerned.
“We are aware that Johor has been affected by the closure of the border. This matter was raised a number of times by the Menteri Besar (Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad) and constantly deliberated at federal level.
“In fact, the Economic Action Council meeting on Monday dwelled on tourism as 50 per cent of our tourists are from Singapore,” he told reporters after a working visit to Rumah Pangsa Larkin here today.
Accompanying him was state Public Works, Transport and Infrastructure Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri.
Mustapa said the border closure meant that there would not be any Singaporean tourists or shoppers to Johor while Malaysians are unable to cross and work in the republic.
“Nevertheless, we hope that the border wil eventually reopen, depending of course on the situation as we do acknowledge that certain matters need to be considered in respect of Malaysia and Singapore’s concerns.
“We hope the border will be opened in due course even if not fully but in stages, as this will help to revive Johor’s economy,” he said.
During the visit, the Jeli member of parliament also met with three families from the B40 group and listened to their plight.
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