In the midst of Malaysia’s lockdown, the government of Johor has expressed its interest in reopening its border with Singapore.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (March 16) evening, announced that the Malaysian government would implement a two-week lockdown in an effort to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. According to straitstimes.com, during the lockdown, which commenced on Wednesday (March 18), Malaysia would neither allow its citizens to leave the country nor grant foreign travellers entry into its borders.
However, according to a recent report by Channel News Asia, on the first day of the 14-day lockdown period, the Johor state government sought the consent of the Malaysian federal government to reopen its border with Singapore. The initiative by Johor officials takes into consideration the case of employees, students, and even Singaporeans who reside in Johor.
Johor Chief Minister Hasni Mohammad in a press briefing on Wednesday (Mar 18) said that the Johor government was working on a proposal to allow certain people to cross the Johor-Singapore land borders. “The state government hopes that the restricted movement order is exempted for those who are in Johor Bahru and need to head to Singapore for work purposes, such as logistic drivers bringing goods in and out of Singapore, those who have work passes approved by both Singapore and Malaysia governments, specialists or technical professionals in certain businesses, students who go to schools in Singapore and for Singaporeans who live in Johor,” he explained.
According to a report by Mothership, Mr Hasni also said that he would meet with a committee consisting of himself, the Johor state secretary, and the Johor state security council; discuss the matter with Singaporean authorities; and then proceed to taking it to the federal government of Malaysia.
In another article, the Mothership reported that as the impending lockdown neared, people raced to make it past the border in time, with many finding themselves to be torn between prioritising their families’ bread and butter or the luxury of being in the presence of their loved ones.
Malaysia’s lockdown is set to last until March 31.