PETALING JAYA,Oct 12: A special plan for the reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore border at the Causeway and Second Link will be tabled by the Johor government to Putrajaya next week.
According to Channel News Asia (CNA), Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad said the plan will be tabled to the Economic Action Council on Oct 19.
It said the plan will not only touch on the need to reopen the border, but will also look at those working in the republic and the effects of investment in Johor.
“We need to explain why the measure is necessary as we cannot continue to be in this situation as many of our people are affected, the business sector as well,” it quoted Hasni as saying after closing the 2020 Asia International Innovation Exhibition.
Noting that revenue from the two checkpoints contribute up to 50% of Malaysian Customs’ tax collection, Hasni added: “When we cannot open the border, I believe it would affect our country’s Customs revenue collection.
“Besides, we can feel the direct effect when many residents living in Johor Bahru cannot travel to and from work and (carry out) other matters to Singapore,” he said.
CNA said that in his speech earlier, Hasni expressed concern that many businesses were badly affected because the checkpoints were still not fully opened to curb the spread of Covid-19.
It said that reopening the border has been a topic of ongoing discussion between the two countries, as employment and businesses have been affected.
On Oct 4, it said, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Economic Affairs Mustapa Mohamed disclosed that discussion on reopening the border is on the agenda of the federal government even though the country is facing a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Mustapa said the government understood that Covid-19 posed tremendous risks, but there was a need to address economic and health issues to rehabilitate the economy, CNA reported.