Wednesday, July 6

Lawas, Limbang folks happy over Brunei’s plan to fully open land, sea borders starting Aug 1

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A man walks towards Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan. — AFP photo

LAWAS (June 11): The business operators here and in Limbang welcome Brunei’s plan to fully open its land and sea borders starting this Aug 1.

The Brunei government announced this on Thursday, but it also said the plan would still be subject to the Covid-19 situation in the country and regionally, as well as the operational readiness of its control posts.

The country’s Covid-19 Steering Committee also announced that effective June 15, cross-border travels via land and seaports would be permitted for essential purposes.

“We’d be very grateful if the land borders are opened again and we can travel between Miri and Lawas without restrictions,” said Nur Fazreen Usop, 34, a restaurant operator in Limbang.

“At the moment, the only option for us is to travel by air, which is more expensive and burdensome especially to those from the low-income groups.”

Meanwhile, Dewan Usahawan Bumiputera Sarawak (DUBS) Limbang branch chairman Mohamad Abu Bakar said the border reopening was definitely good news for local businesses, which had been adversely affected throughout the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The people of Limbang will welcome it (border reopening), as it will also boost their economic activities.”

Lawas resident Omarali Matjais regarded Brunei’s plan to fully open its borders come Aug 1 as ‘a much-awaited news for the people in the northern part of the state’.

“This would ease travel for everyone, including the business operators that they will be able to carry out their trade without restrictions,” said the man, who is in his 60s.