Johor—Shortly after Malaysia imposed its lockdown, which took effect on March 18, it’s Chief Minister said that talks were in progress for opening the land crossing channels to Singapore.
Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad expressed the hope that an exception could be made for the Johor-Singapore border, although he underlined the need for health screenings for those who would make the crossings.
According to the Mentri Besar, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin gave Johor a mandate to propose mitigation endeavours concerning border issues.
Datuk Hasni Mohammad said, “But our suggestion does not mean the border we share with Singapore will be operating normally. There will be tighter control and screening, which is part of our mitigation and more effective control during the Covid-19 outbreak.”
He explained that Johor appealed to Putrajaya for an exception for specific sectors that commute between the two countries every day.
“Logistics drivers and their assistants, those that have Malaysian and Singapore working passes, transportation drivers, specialists, professional technicians, business owners and students studying in the island republic.”
But those who cross the border purely to visit would not be included in the groups allowed to traverse the borders.
A consultation would be held with Singapore in drawing up the proposals, he added.
Netizens, however, warned the Mentri Besar against overly hasty actions.
Some expressed concern that Johor’s Chief Minister may not see the full gravity of the Covid-19 crisis, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has called a pandemic.
Others told him to at least complete the full fortnight of the lockdown first.
Some netizens took a firm tone. Exceptions are exceptions.
One person commented that the Chief Minister should have his priorities right.