Reopening of borders a political solution to keep issue out of Johor elections: Politician

He was responding to a question on whether the announcement of the reopening of the border was seen as an "election goodie".


Out and about: Himmah Aafifah taking a photo of her friends Anisah Azlin (left) and Nir Adibah Nadia at the sculpture outside the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

March 11, 2022

JOHOR BARU – The reopening of Malaysia’s borders is a political solution to keep the Singapore-Johor border issue out of the equation in the upcoming state polls, says Liew Chin Tong.

The Johor DAP chairman, who is contesting the Perling seat, said that the border reopening announcement was made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Tuesday (March 8) because of the Johor state election as it was a very important issue for Johoreans.

“Voters in southern Johor, regardless of race, care about this a lot. They want to know when the border will reopen.

“It is not just a matter of the economy for them but also about their livelihood and being reunited with their families.

“So, I think that is a political solution that they have advocated. We welcome the reopening (of the border) but there is too much political calculation involved in the decision,” he said in a press conference at DAP’s Perling command centre here on Wednesday (March 9).

He was responding to a question on whether the announcement of the reopening of the border was seen as an “election goodie”.

State DAP deputy chairman Teo Nie Ching said that the reopening of the border was more of an “election punishment” for the people.

“I don’t agree that reopening of the border is an election goodie; instead, it is a punishment.

“I believe if not because of the Johor election, the borders would have been reopened sooner.

“Why do we need to wait two to three weeks for the border to reopen when the National Recovery Council had already said that it could be opened on March 1?” she asked.

On Tuesday (March 8), Ismail said that Malaysia will reopen its borders to international travellers starting April 1.

The prime minister said visitors, as well as Malaysian returnees, who are fully vaccinated, are not required to undergo quarantine upon arrival.

They, however, must undergo a RT-PCR test two days before departure and a rapid test (RTK-Ag) upon arrival.

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