7 March 2022
MALAYSIA is all set to reopen its international borders – including the land checkpoints at the Causeway and the Second Link – after 2 years of being shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob expected to announce the exact opening date on Tuesday (Mar 8).
The automated gates at the international entry points in Malaysia, including those at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and the Sultan Iskandar Building in Johor, have already been reactivated.
A report from news agency Bernama, citing Immigration Department director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud, the auto gates were reactivated last Saturday, with officers at the international entry points who were previously sent to temporary depots recalled to prepare for the reopening.
Khairul said that tourists must provide proof that they have a place to stay in Malaysia, have a “sufficient amount of money” and a travel itinerary upon entering the country.
A separate report by The Star newspaper on Monday cited Tourism and Culture Minister Nancy Sukri as saying her ministry is “well prepared” to welcome foreign tourists back to Malaysia.
Singapore has a land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Malaysia via the Causeway at Johor and the Second Link. There is an air VTL with Kuala Lumpur, and this will be extended to include Penang from March 16.
Lee Heng Guie, executive director of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia’s Socio-Economic Research Centre, described the border reopening as good news for the country as it continues its economic recovery.
“Although quite expected, it is still something that everyone is waiting for, especially for the battered aviation, retail, hotels and tourism industries. And of course, international tourists who have missed Malaysia,” he told The Business Times.
He noted that with new catalysts for tourism-related sectors, Malaysia’s economy will rebound strongly, albeit at a slower pace than before.
“We won’t go back to pre-pandemic levels so soon, mainly due to the Russia-Ukraine war, rising oil prices and inflation still plaguing the country’s economy,” he added.
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