A Gerakan leader has strongly opposed the suggestion to reopen Malaysian borders for business travellers from regional trading partners, especially Asean, China as well as Belt and Road countries.
The party’s national vice-president Baljit Singh said the move is unwise even though the person who suggested it, Association of Belt and Road Malaysia president Chuah Poh Khiang, said the reopening must be done with safety conditions applied.
“Safety of all Malaysians must come first. We must remember that even China has restrictions about travelling within their country,” Baljit (above) told Malaysiakini.
Baljit denied that his remarks were racially motivated.
“Covid-19 has nothing to do with race or religion and should not be used as a political tool to gain the support of any particular race,” Baljit added.
On June 7, Bernama quoted Chuah saying that allowing business travellers, who met safety conditions, to travel to Malaysia was crucial to revitalising the country’s trade and investments amid a slowdown in the domestic economy.
Baljit argued that it was not yet necessary to open the country’s borders to China as business transactions can still be carried out over the Internet.
“Many business discussions, deals and even negotiations can be carried out online these days. There is no need to allow them to physically enter the country for now,” Baljit said, adding the priority was protecting the health of locals and the economy.
“Let’s put in place all measures to bring our local business community onto their feet again,” he said.
“China or any other country can wait as we do not want to be engulfed by a second wave by this November or December.
“We should focus on turning every state into a green zone before we return to normal again,” Baljit stressed.