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Singapore and Malaysia to discuss border reopening


Singapore and Malaysia to discuss border reopening

Photo: AFP

The leaders of Malaysia and Singapore will meet in Singapore today to discuss reopening the border between the two nations.

Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will meet his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong to discuss further openings after the May 2 agreement to allow cross-border travel for collection of remains or visiting critically ill loved ones, beginning on May 17.

While the government of Malaysia’s Johor State is eager to reopen the border within the next two months, expect the Singaporean Government–who grant final approval for the reopening–to be more hesitant. Malaysia’s infection rate has increased steadily since the beginning of April to almost 3,000 new daily infections. Though vaccination rates are increasing, under 2% of Malaysia’s population is fully vaccinated. Singapore is averaging less than 30 infections per week and has fully vaccinated almost 15% of its population already, so is unlikely to open its northern border until either infection rates decrease or until total vaccination percentage increases. Almost 300,000 Malaysians living in Johor State commute into Singapore each day for work, so the Singaporean Government is still keen to reopen the two border crossings as soon as possible to allow these workers to return.

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