Prime Minister’s Indon visit timely and brings hopes to post-pandemic recovery

Yong Teck Lee

Kota Kinabalu, Tuesday, 9 February 2021

The recent visit of the PM to Indonesia at the invitation of the Indonesian President augurs well for a strong economic recovery for Malaysia after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sabahans should be especially encouraged that top of the agenda between PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin and President Jokowi were the Malaysia-Indonesia joint efforts to counter the anti-palm oil campaign and the involvement of Malaysian businesses in the building of the new Indonesian national capital at Kalimantan, which our biggest, prosperous neighbour is to the south of Sabah on Borneo island. Both subject matters, oil palm and Kalimantan, have immense impact on the economic wellbeing on Malaysians, especially in Sabah.

Of significance is also the study into the setting up of a Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) for travel between Malaysia and Indonesia. Some critics have hastily condemned the RGL as a “travel bubble” that is risky and premature. But the proposed RGL is not a free for all bubble. The RGL is being be prepared to allow for travel from a Covid-19 free zone to another Covid-19 free zone, without having to close the entire country to each other, for instance from Sabah to Kalimantan.

It is for this same reason that the Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (SATTA) has called for a study to include China and South Korea in a possible Reciprocal Green Lane with Malaysia, or parts of Malaysia. It is for this pragmatic reason that Singapore and Hong Kong have planned for the future (but yet to be implemented) their reciprocal travel during the pandemic.

Our Prime Minister has the foresight to plan ahead to ensure a strong and urgent economic recovery as soon as the current pandemic approaches its end. With the vaccines now being widely available and the peaking of the pandemic in most countries, one would expect that the beginning of the end of the pandemic has started. Hopefully, by the time of the Tokyo Olympics due this summer in July, the world has sufficiently recovered from Covid-19.

Opposition parties and their cyber troopers should therefore stop their silly antics, stop sulking and stop making fun of the PM’s official visit to Indonesia which, it should be repeated, was at the invitation of the Indonesian President.

It is common knowledge that the PM and his team have been working hard every day to overcome the pandemic.

Perikatan Nasional parties, including SAPP, have been briefed and brought on board at several discussions chaired by the PM himself via video conferencing. In this unprecedented period with SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) that need to be constantly adjusted to balance public health with people’s livelihood, the PM has done exceedingly well with his calmness and focus at the challenges at hand.

Datuk Yong Teck Lee
President, SAPP

Author: Johnny Chin