M'sia health minister says S'pore & M'sia officials conducting 'dry run' ahead of land VTL

Gan Kim Yong previously said that more details will be revealed soon.

Faris Alfiq | November 23, 2021, 06:30 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

Malaysian Minister for Health Khairy Jamaluddin tweeted on Nov. 23 that officials from Singapore and Malaysia were conducting a "dry run" at Johor Causeway ahead of the land Vaccinated Travel Lane opening through the Causeway.

He wrote: "Officials from Malaysia and Singapore are conducting a 'dry run' for the proposed opening of the 'Vaccinated Travel Lane' through the Causeway."

"The opening of the border is very much anticipated by the people of both countries. Hope it will be a success,"  he added.

"Optimistic" for land VTL to launch end-November: Gan Kim Yong

Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, Gan Kim Yong, has previously shared that Singapore and Malaysia have been working closely together to finalise the operational details of the land link to ensure that the border can be opened in a safe manner.

Responding to questions from the media during a Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) press conference on Nov. 20, Gan said that he is "optimistic" that the VTL-like land link can be launched around the end of November, close to the launch of the VTL for air travel on Nov. 29.

"It is also possible that we may be able to do so on the same day [as the VTL]," Gan said.

On Nov. 18, Johor's Chief Minister Hasni Mohammad claimed that the land link would be implemented from Nov. 29, the same day as the VTL for air travel.

More details to come soon

In his response, Gan said that the details are still being worked out, and that hopefully, the Singapore government will be able to share the plans "some time next week".

He added that details on how Singaporeans can book their tickets and make travel arrangements for the land link will be explained later, "probably next week".

Limited quota as a start

Gan added that it will likely only allow a limited number of people to cross the border via the land link.

"We will start with a smaller number with a certain limited quota. We are not likely to go back to the pre-Covid-19 days where you have hundreds of thousands of people travelling both directions every day."

He emphasised that the priority is to allow families who have been separated across the border since the start of the pandemic to reunite.

Therefore, the first phase of the land-based VTL "will focus on this group of people".

Subsequently, he said, "we can think about expanding the scope to allow more people to travel".

"I think it's also important for us to ensure that we are able to do so in a safe way through tests and so on to make sure that this [land-based] VTL will continue to be able to allow citizens and PRs from both sides, and residents on both sides, to travel safely."

Related stories:

Follow and listen to our podcast here

Top images via Khairy Jamaluddin/Twitter