Malaysia and Brunei agree in principle to implement VTL, says Ismail Sabri
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (February 15): Malaysia and Brunei have agreed in principle to implement the Air and Land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) initiative for cross-border movement between the two countries, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail has said Sabri Yaakob.
He said the deal was reached following talks with Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at Istana Nurul Iman here on Tuesday, February 15.
A proposal has also been made for the establishment of four weekly flights between Brunei and Malaysia when the VTL will be carried out, he told a press conference before ending his first official visit to Brunei, which started on Monday.
Currently, there are only two flights per week between Kuala Lumpur and Bandar Seri Begawan, namely Wednesday and Friday, as Brunei has not yet opened its borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ismail Sabri said relevant ministries will review standard operating procedures (SOPs) with the aim of implementing the VTL initiative.
“I have asked the relevant ministries to discuss the matter at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (Wednesday), so that it can be implemented immediately…I want it to be expedited,” he said. declared.
Malaysia had previously implemented the VTL with Singapore and also agreed to implement the initiative with Indonesia.
The Prime Minister said that apart from that, the Sultan of Brunei has agreed to recognize the use of MySejahtera and BruHealth in both countries to facilitate the integration and use of the system by people in Malaysia and Brunei.
This cooperation, he said, was also crucial in facilitating cross-border movement of people from both countries.
Ismail Sabri said that with recognition, MySejahtera and BruHealth can be used in both countries.
Asked about Malaysia’s open borders, the prime minister said: ‘We have a plan to open the borders (but) March 1 may be too soon…maybe after that.’
Ismail Sabri also said that the discussions between him and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also focused on cooperation during the Covid-19 period and the post-pandemic period.
He said Malaysia had invited the government of Brunei to get involved in research and development (R&D) for the production of the Covid-19 vaccine and to start with, the Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) was ready to help. collaborate with experts from Universiti Brunei. Darussalam in his research on “Antibody Response to Covid-19 Vaccines”.
This collaboration will be followed in detail by relevant agencies in Malaysia and Brunei, he said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister described his visit to Brunei as very successful and (that he) managed to resolve several issues that had been pushed aside due to, among other things, the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the visit showed the importance of relations between Malaysia and Brunei, not only as ASEAN neighbors and partners, but also as long-standing special relations.
“During the audience with the Sultan of Brunei, our discussions focused on efforts and initiatives to further enhance this special relationship to a higher and more comprehensive level,” he said.
Earlier, the Prime Minister attended a tea party with the Malaysian Diaspora in Brunei which was attended by 120 Malaysians living in the country. There are around 25,000 Malaysians living in Brunei, comprising professionals, business people, students and people working in the country.
During the reception, Ismail Sabri briefed them on the latest developments in the country, among them the political situation, the floods that occurred at the end of last year and government measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister also received a contribution of RM50,000 from the Malaysian community in Brunei for flood victims in their country.