JOHOR BAHRU, Sept 26 (Sin Chew Daily) — Malaysia is estimated to lose RM14 billion a year after shutting down the Malaysia-Singapore border for more than a year.
The estimate is based on the monthly expenses of S$1,500 (RM4,648) by 250,000 Malaysian workers stranded in the Lion City.
The Malaysian-Singapore Workers Task Force (Pemas) president S. Dayalan said if the funds were channeled back to Malaysia,
especially Johor, it could be a strong boost to the country’s economy.
However, the Malaysian workers were stranded in Singapore due to the lockdown and ended up spending money in Singapore.
Singapore gains while Malaysia suffers the economic loss, he said.
In a press conference, Dayalan said initially the lockdown measures were imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Now that many understand the preventive measures and the standard operating procedures (SOPs), the borders should be open as people of various age groups have now been vaccinated.
“The government should be more proactive in opening up the borders for Malaysians to reunite with their families,” he said.
Dayalan urged the government to consider allowing Malaysians aged from 20 to 25 who have been vaccinated to commute between Malaysia and Singapore and draft the SOPs for phased border opening.
Once the border is opened, he urged the government to allow Malaysians working in Singapore to undergo quarantine at home instead of isolation centers or hotels.