Close relationship between Malaysia, Singapore of immense importance

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ASEANASEAN – As close, immediate neighbours the deep relationship between Malaysia and Singapore is of immense importance to both sides, said Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“More active multi-level engagements and a much stronger cooperation are certainly the way forward for our two countries,” said Ismail Sabri at a joint press conference with his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong here today. “This is crucial also for our cooperation in undertaking effective and meaningful (economic) recovery efforts so that our countries will come out stronger following the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Malaysian premier is on an official visit to Singapore at the invitation of Lee.

He noted that today both countries marked another significant milestone in their cooperation with the reopening of their borders through the launching of the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL-Land).

Ismail Sabri had this morning crossed Tambak Johor or the Johor Causeway and was received by the Singapore Prime Minister at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

“This in itself is very significant as we have also launched VTL-Air. This is part of the gradual reopening of our borders to facilitate travel between the two countries,” the Malaysian premier said.

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Ismail Sabri said he had also discussed with his counterpart additional measures that both will undertake with regard to cross-border travels between Malaysia and Singapore.

Both of them have agreed to include all categories of travellers for the VTL-Land, subject to the health requirements determined by both countries.

They also agreed to expand the VTL-land to include additional bus service routes through the Second Link, trains operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM), and gradually to include personal vehicles such as motorbikes and cars. “We acknowledge that the reopening of borders is important to reactivate cross-border social and economic activities that will benefit the people of both countries,” Ismail Sabri said. “We hope that by doing this, it would provide the opportunity for more people on both sides of the Causeway who have been away from their families due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to be reunited with their loved ones — which we know the people of both Malaysia and Singapore have long awaited for.”

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