Discussion on border reopening between Malaysia and Singapore was positive

By TIN Media | Nation News Published 2 weeks ago on 26 June 2020
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Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that the discussions Malaysia had with Singapore concerning reopening the borders of its countries were positive.

"I am quite positive...but of course there will be people who look at it negatively but they are not involved in the negotiation and don't know what I have discussed with Singapore's Foreign Minister," he said.

Hishammuddin also assured that the reopening of Malaysia-Singapore borders would look into standard operating procedures (SOPs) and health protocols which would benefit both countries. 

He said that both sides have agreed on the importance of SOPs and health protocols, based on his discussions with Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan.

"What is important is to take a step by step approach to ensure the reopening of relations and the movement of our people is done smoothly and safely, and benefit us in all sectors," he said in a press conference.

Hishammuddin said it'd be more difficult to negotiate the 'green bubble' idea with the other countries if it could not even open the borders with Malaysia 's immediate neighbour, Singapore.

The concept of the "green bubble" involves easing travel constraints between two or more countries with low local COVID-19 transmission and cases.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said ASEAN foreign ministers yesterday also discussed the possibility of allowing movement of its citizens between any two countries categorised as ‘green’, under the commonly termed green bubble concept. 

“Travel remains important to generate regional economic growth,” he said. 

Hishammuddin said the green bubble concept could be raised by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the 36th ASEAN summit, adding that Wisma Putra was currently in the midst of planning the best methods possible to implement the concept. 

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