It appears that Singaporean-organised “shopping tours” to Johor, in conjunction with Chinese New Year, are seeing a lot of last-minute cancellations as situation between two countries tense up over a maritime and airspace dispute, reported Sin Chew daily.
Community groups in the Lion City often run yearly Chinese New Year shopping trips for Singaporeans to make use of the cheaper prices across the border and stock up festive goodies.
Unfortunately, many such trips have recently been cancelled, based on the Chinese-language newspaper.
According to an article by TODAY, Ms Liao Liyun, chairman of the Sengkang Rivervale Residents’ Committee, mentioned that the annual one-day trip to Johor Bharu and Batu Pahat would usually be taken up quickly by eager shoppers.
However, due to the tense situation between Singapore and Malaysia, the committee decided to call off the trip this year, citing security concerns by participants.
She added that residents have been given full refund, and locals have decided to buy things for this festive season at local warehouses in Singapore.
Others have opted to cancel their trips in a move to boycott Malaysian retailers.
On the other hand, Ms Li Meihua, a member of the Yishun Constituency, told Sin Chew that the public decided not to go to Malaysia as the country’s behaviour was “not friendly and they do not want to go shopping there”.
Both the neighbouring countries are involved in a dispute over territorial waters and airspace.
On Tuesday, Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen noted that security forces have been ordered to exercise restraint after Johor Chief Minister Osman Sapian unwelcomely visited a Malaysian vessel in Singapore’s territory.
Foreign ministers from both countries met last week in the Republic for discussions, which will be followed by a meeting between the respective countries’ transport ministers at the end of January.
However, many netizens find that this claim is fake and that many Singaporeans still cross the border to shop for Chinese New Year.