PETALING JAYA: Key players in the tourism industry have welcomed the reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore border as a decision that will benefit their business although not immediately.
Malaysian Tourist Guides Council president Jimmy Leong and Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents secretary-general Nigel Wong, noting that only business and official travellers would be allowed to cross the causeway, said most would not avail themselves of tourism services.
“The tourism industry welcomes the move as this would allow the authorities to consider the next categories of travellers allowed to cross the border,” said Leong, who is also the chairman for the Johor Tourist Guides Association.
He told FMT it was a wise decision to open the borders by stages considering the need to monitor the health of travellers.
Wong said he regarded the decision as a sign that Malaysia and Singapore would start establishing the necessary protocols that would eventually pave the way for other types of travellers.
Yesterday, Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, said in a joint statement that the two countries had agreed to implement the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) arrangement and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).
They said the two countries aimed to put the travel schemes in force from Aug 10.
The RGL will allow travellers on essential business and official purposes. They will be swabbed upon entry and required to submit their itineraries.
The PCA allows citizens with long-term immigration passes to enter either country for work purposes.
The two ministers said details on the requirements, application processes and health protocols would be published 10 days before implementation.
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