Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long has said trade with Malaysia will continue despite the Malaysian government announcing a lock down on its borders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus.
In a statement released on Facebook, Lee said he had spoken to his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin on 16 March, 2020, and gained assurance that trade between the two countries will not be adversely affected.
“I told him that I understood the reasons why he had made this move, and wished Malaysia success in containing the outbreak,” Lee said.
“I was happy to hear his reassurance that the flow of goods and cargo between Singapore and Malaysia, including food supplies, would continue.”
The border restrictions, due to come into effect on 18 March, 2020, seek to substantially restrict movement of people within Malaysia, as well as in and out of the country.
The neighbouring countries are separated by the Johor Strait, and people from both sides cross the border on a daily basis, as does cargo.
They were both two of the most badly affected countries at the beginning of the outbreak at the start of 2020, but both have been remarkably successful at containing.
As of 17 March 2020, Singapore has not recorded a single death and Malaysia only one – a 60-year old man.
However, major infrastructure projects on both sides of the Johor Strait could be affected by the outbreak, such as the Tuas mega-port, Singapore’s project to create the biggest port in the world.