Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian denied news reports that the number of Singaporean shoppers has decreased in Johor due to ongoing bilateral tensions over territorial disputes.
He said, “I believe there is no decline in Singaporeans visiting Johor despite reports of the canceled tours. I share State Women and Tourism Development Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung’s view yesterday that we (Johor) continue to receive tourists from Singapore.”
Speaking after the pre-launch of the Johor International Islamic and Halal Festival 2019 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Johor Baru, the Malay Mail reports that he asserted the bilateral tensions only have a slight effect on Johor.
On Tuesday, a Sin Chew Daily report alleged that tourists from Singapore canceled planned day trips to Johor in the light of growing tensions between Malaysia and Singapore.
The report claimed that organized groups from Singapore which arranged shopping trips were concerned over the recent tensions between the two nations and opted to cancel these day trips in order to prevent any unwanted occurrences.
Liow said on Wednesday, January 16, that Singaporean tourists were still pouring into Johor, though a number reportedly canceled shopping trips just before the Chinese New Year celebrations.
However, Liow, who issued a statement, focused on the close ties and mutual harmony between the two countries.
“We share the same cultural heritage and social relations and I do not see how constructive discussion between the two countries will affect the good relations between the two neighbors.”