It has almost been two years since the bridge and border customs between Singapore and Malaysia were left for the stray pigeons, and maybe an occasional exotic bird species, to occupy.
Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has lasted for that long.
With the pandemic situation stabilising and improving, some good news has finally arrived:
The two countries will be working towards full resumption of air and land travel for all vaccinated persons, Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung announced in a Facebook post yesterday (23 Mar).
That’s right, no more restricted quotas for Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs); travelling between both countries will return to normal.
Like, real normal.
It almost sounds like a fever dream after so long.
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For many Singaporeans and Malaysians that have ties in both countries, you can start cheering.
Health Minister Ong’s Facebook Post
Presently, Health Minister Ong is in Malaysia, where he met the country’s Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, better known as Minister KJ.
Ong wrote, “We had a fruitful and frank discussion. We agreed that Singapore and Malaysia enjoy excellent and long standing bilateral relations, our people have many linkages and ties, but they were all disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Yes, Singaporeans love travelling across borders to Johor to get things for cheap, Malaysians love Singapore because the salaries offered are so much better after currency conversion rates are taken into account. It’s mutually beneficial, we can agree.
Ong adds, “We also agree that the COVID-19 situation has stabilised and is improving in both countries, and we should now work towards the full resumption of air and travel for vaccinated persons.”
He stated that resuming the operations for air and land travel for vaccinated people will help rebuild the people-to-people connections that had been hindered by the pandemic.
Not the most religious person, but, hallelujah!
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More Details to Come
Mr Ong’s working visit to Kuala Lumpur will last from Wednesday to Friday (25 March), with senior officials from the Ministry of Health accompanying him.
On his agenda today (24 Mar), he will be visiting the National Institutes of Health, where he will be delivering a keynote address.
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Featured Image: Facebook (Ong Ye Kung)
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