JOHOR BAHRU, Oct 5: The reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore border remains an agenda and focus of the federal government in its discussions with the republic despite the surge in Covid-19 cases, a federal minister said.
Mustapa Mohamed, de facto minister for economic affairs, said the government was cognisant of the numerous risks posed by the pandemic but felt 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 (Hasni Mohammad) and constantly deliberated at the federal level.
“In fact, the Economic Action Council meeting on Monday focused on tourism as 50% of our tourists are from Singapore,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Mustapa said the border closure meant 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 the border will eventually reopen, depending of course on the situation as we do acknowledge that certain matters need to be considered.
“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.