PM Lee hails Johor's crucial role

As the key gateway between Singapore and Malaysia, Johor plays a crucial role in maintaining close cooperation and connectivity between the two countries, which was especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With support from Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, Singapore kept supply chains open across land borders with Johor during the crisis, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, adding that Singapore also worked with the Sultan Ibrahim Johor Foundation to donate vaccines and medical supplies.

"Singapore and Johor are close neighbours and partners, linked by generations of friendship and kinship," said PM Lee at an official lunch at the Istana on Wednesday in honour of Sultan Ibrahim, who is on a three-day visit to Singapore.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Sultan Ibrahim said he hoped his visit would help bolster Johor-Singapore ties and accelerate economic cooperation.

"It is my sincere hope that my visit will further reinforce the bond of friendship and enhance continued collaboration for the benefit of our two peoples," he said.

"Over the years, the close cooperation and understanding with Singapore in many ways have benefited Johor, especially in its socio-economic development."

In his speech, PM Lee said both Singapore and Johor have moved decisively towards living with Covid-19.

"Cross-border travel has resumed. The Causeway is bustling once more. Family and friends are again visiting one another. Workers, business travellers and tourists are also making trips across the border, boosting the recovery of Singapore and Johor's economies," he said.

He added that efforts to improve connectivity between Johor and Singapore - such as the start of a new direct ferry service between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal - were continuing and he looked forward to the timely completion of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link project.

"I look forward to working with Sultan Ibrahim to promote further cooperation between Singapore and Johor.

"I am confident that with his support, relations between Singapore and Johor will continue to strengthen and deepen."

The Straits Times

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