HomeAsiaCommentary: Suggestion that Malaysia reopens borders in March has the country divided

Commentary: Suggestion that Malaysia reopens borders in March has the country divided

While the common public is pandemic-weary and hoping for financial restoration and the skill to take a vacation overseas, if they can, some are nonetheless extremely involved about the attainable risks.


The Johor state elections going down on Mar 12 provides a brand new layer of complexity. Political manoeuvring is at fever pitch. With a tricky combat anticipated between UMNO and Bersatu, the consequence might be seen as a bellwether for the subsequent common election which should happen earlier than July 2023.

As chairman of Bersatu, Muhyiddin has a management position in the occasion’s Johor state election marketing campaign and equipment. He wants to carry the occasion collectively, at a time when Bersatu is reportedly underneath the menace of representatives leaving to hitch Parti Warisan Sabah or UMNO.

Given Johor’s deep need for the borders to reopen, Muhyiddin’s announcement positions him and Bersatu effectively if he might be seen as key to the determination to return to restriction-free journey. If profitable, it will likely be an illustration of each his clout, and talent to know and meet public needs.

Khairy introduced that the Johor state elections may proceed as deliberate, with eased restrictions regardless of it having the third highest variety of new COVID-19 circumstances over the previous week and the second highest variety of sufferers in ICU. 

UMNO was the occasion that triggered the dissolution of the Johor state meeting. Would a call to maintain the borders closed and presumably dampen financial restoration be seen as inconsistent with the easing of campaigning prohibitions?

The authorities of the day is clearly involved about public opinion. As the related ministries debate the feasibility of reopening borders, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia is working a survey to seek out out public views on the matter.

It stays to be seen whether or not the borders will certainly reopen earlier than the Johor state elections, and to whom the success of that transfer may be attributed to. The connection between that and the consequence of the elections may also be an attention-grabbing angle to look at after the storm subsides.

Dr Serina Rahman, Visiting Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, writes from Johor.



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