SINGAPORE (March 17): Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said today that the flow of goods and cargo between Singapore and Malaysia, including food supplies, will continue despite Malaysia's lockdown over COVID-19.
According to Singapore's Straits Times, Lee in a Facebook post today said he received this reassurance from Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin when they discussed the situation on Tuesday.
"I told him that I understood the reasons why he had made this move, and wished Malaysia success in containing the outbreak. I was happy to hear his reassurance that the flow of goods and cargo between Singapore and Malaysia, including food supplies, would continue," he said.
Malaysia had announced on Monday night that it would impose a lockdown of its borders to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
This movement control order bars Malaysians from travelling overseas from Wednesday (March 18) to March 31.
The Straits Times report quoted Lee saying that Malaysia's announcement was not surprising, as many other countries have already imposed similar lockdowns.
He noted that Malaysians living in Johor but working in Singapore will have to comply with the Malaysian lockdown.
"This will prevent them from commuting daily, at least for the time being. We are therefore working out arrangements with our companies to help these Malaysian workers stay in Singapore temporarily, if they would like to do so," he said.
He also said that he and the Malaysian PM have also agreed to appoint senior ministers on both sides - Teo Chee Hean and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri - to coordinate their responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly on measures where they can work together, or where the actions of one country will affect the other.
"They are already in touch, but it may take a couple of days for arrangements to be worked out and to settle down," he said.