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Hishammuddin: Border reopening talks with Singapore positive

PUTRAJAYA (June 26): Malaysia’s discussions with Singapore pertaining to the reopening of the countries’ border have been positive, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

"I am quite positive...but of course there will be people who look at it negatively but they are not involved in the negotiations and don't know what I have discussed with Singapore's Foreign Minister," he said.

Hishammuddin also assured that the reopening of Malaysia-Singapore border would look into standard operating procedures (SOPs) and health protocols which would benefit both countries.

Based on his discussions with Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, he said both sides also agreed on the importance of SOPs and health protocols.

"What is important is to take a step-by-step approach to ensure the reopening of relations and the movement of our people are done smoothly and safely, and benefit us in all sectors," he said in a press conference here yesterday.

Hishammuddin pointed out that if the reopening of borders could not even be done with Malaysia's immediate neighbour, Singapore, then it would be harder to navigate the 'green bubble' concept with other countries.

The 'green bubble' concept involves easing travel restrictions between two or more countries where local COVID-19 transmission and cases are low.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said ASEAN Foreign Ministers on Wednesday also discussed the possibility of allowing movement of its citizens between any two countries categorised as green, under the 'green bubble' concept.

“Travel remains important to generate regional economic growth,” he said.

Hishammuddin said the 'green bubble' concept could be raised by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the 36th ASEAN summit today, adding that Wisma Putra is currently in the midst of planning the best methods possible to implement the concept.

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