BANGKOK: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the high vaccination rate among the Malaysians would enable Malaysia to reopen its international borders soon.
Ismail said, the government will reopen the border soon and now in the process of convincing Malaysians that imported infection cannot be harmful.
“Malaysians, who have not returned home for a long time, will be able to return when the border reopens,” he said at the Malaysian Family gathering here on Friday (Feb 25).
Prime Minister Ismail is on his three day official visit to Thailand at the invitation of Thai Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan o-cha. He arrived in Bangkok on Thursday Feb 24.
Ismail also mentioned that Malaysia has established a land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Singapore.
“The VTL between Malaysia and Brunei is expected to start on March 1 while with Indonesia is also expected soon.
“For Thailand, we will create a VTL if possible, we want to reopen (the border) soon,” he said as reported by Bernama.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Ismail once again gave his assurance that the government will not close the economic and industrial sectors despite the hike in daily Covid-19 cases recorded in Malaysia.
Ismail stressed that Malaysians need to live with Covid-19 after two years of fighting the virus.
According to Ismail, although COVID-19 cases have increased to 30,000, but cases in categories four and five are less than one per cent.
“We will not close the economic sector once we have opened, it will continue to open,” he said at the Keluarga Malaysia gathering held at a hotel that was attended by about 100 Malaysians including students.
Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias and Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel.
An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 Malaysians, either studying or working, live in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces.
However, only 1,018 Malaysians, including 40 students studying at universities around Bangkok, are officially registered with the embassy.
In this regard, Jojie encouraged all Malaysians in Thailand to register with the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok or the Consulate General of Malaysia in Songkhla.