By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Feb 27: The border connecting Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam will soon be opened for Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) travellers, says Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
He took note that Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob during his visit in Kuching last night has announced that Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah has agreed in principle to the proposed implementation of VTL between Malaysia and Brunei.
“Before the Covid-19 pandemic came, Brunei contributed the highest number of visitors.
“So, if they open the doors (VTL) as agreed by the two countries, I believe it will be a matter of time (to see an increase in number of visitors to Sarawak) after both parties have sorted out all the minor things,” he said.
He told this to reporters at a press conference after officiating at the closing ceremony for Power Aquatics Swimming Club (PASC) Inter-Club Swimming Challenge Trophy 2022 at Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre here today.
Abdul Karim who is also the Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Minister also said the number of visitors arriving in Sarawak has shot up by 400 or 500 per cent for the month of January and February this year, compared to the corresponding period last year.
He also disclosed that Sarawak is trying to work out on a proposed VTL between Singapore and Kuching, Sarawak.
“Presently, Malaysia and Singapore have already initiated a VTL route from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
“We are trying to secure a route between Singapore and Sarawak, either in Kuching or Miri. This is because we already have direct flights from Singapore to Kuching and Singapore to Miri.
“If that can be materialised soon, then that will also be a good news for us (Sarawak),” he added.
He further revealed that Malaysia is also working on a VTL route with Thailand.
“Even though we do not have a direct flight from Thailand to Kuching, we are also working on something like this with our neighbours whether it is in Indonesia, Thailand or Singapore,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily