KUALA LUMPUR: The reopening of the government’s border is a positive step in the country’s recovery process.
This is especially for sectors severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic such as the tourism and trade industries, said National Recovery Council chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said Malaysia plays an important role in the global supply chain and the prolonged closure of border gates will inevitably affect the country’s position and competitiveness in international trade.
“Insya-Allah with the reopening of the country’s borders, Malaysia will continue to be on the right track for the country’s economic recovery which is projected to grow between 5.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent for 2022,” he said in a statement today.
In welcoming the government’s move, Muhyiddin said the decision was made in line with the recommendation of the National Rehabilitation Council on Feb 8, for the reopening of national borders without mandatory quarantine requirements.
Earlier today Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the country’s borders will be reopened on April 1.
Muhyiddin said he is hopeful that the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the Government, especially at land and water border gates such as the Johor-Singapore border gates, would not prove to be burdensome and are easy for the public to understand.
“I would also like to emphasise to all who wish to use this reopening facility to always comply with the SOP set by the Health Ministry,” he said.
The Pagoh member of parliament added that with the transition to the endemic phase of Covid-19, it is hoped that Malaysians will continue to adopt new and resilient norms to ensure that they and their families are always protected.
“For those who have not yet received a dose of the Covid-19 booster vaccine, I would like to urge them to do so as soon as possible in order to be protected from the serious effects of this virus”, he urged.
Malaysia closed its borders and imposed strict movement controls following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and this had drastically impacted the various economic sectors in the country, especially the tourism sector.
Tourism, with 26.1 million arrivals in 2019, contributed RM86.1 billion in tourism receipts and in the same year, the sector employed 3.6 million people, accounting for 23.6 per cent of total employment in the country. That year, too, the sector accounted for 15.9 per cent of gross domestic product.
Malaysia received just 4.3 million tourists in 2020, an 83.4 per cent decline from the previous year.
Date: 8 March 2022