Singapore general election will not delay reopening of borders with Malaysia: Hisham

PHOTO: The Straits Times file

KLUANG - The Singapore general election would not cause a delay in the reopening of borders between the island republic and Malaysia, says Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The Foreign Minister said that the general election in the neighbouring country, which falls on July 10, would not affect talks or decision on the reopening of borders between the two countries.

"It (the election) will not effect (the reopening of the borders).

"Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was present during the virtual ASEAN Summit meeting on Friday (June 26) and previously, even after the election was announced, I was also still in discussions with Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan," he said Saturday (June 27).

He added that the reopening of borders would be carried out carefully and would take into consideration the capacity of both countries in ensuring security and safety.

"The reopening would be carried out in stages where we have categorised the groups of people that would be going through the border into four categories.

"The first category are professionals, including those involved in businesses while the second category are Malaysians working and living in Singapore, which is estimated to be about 20,000 to 25,000 people," he said.

He added that the third category are Malaysians working in Singapore who commute from Johor to the island republic on a daily basis, which is estimated to be between 200,000 to 250,000 people while the fourth category are all Malaysian and Singapore citizens in general.

"We are focusing on the first two categories at the moment and we hope to be able to announce the reopening of the borders for these two groups as soon as possible," he said.