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Coronavirus

Malaysia lockdown complicates business and life in Singapore

City-state offers temporary housing aid for thousands of cross-border commuters

Commuters wait for transport from Malaysia to Singapore on March 17 before the lockdown.    © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Malaysia's coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday has forced its neighbor, Singapore, to launch urgent measures to mitigate the impact.

Singapore has strong ties with every Southeast Asian country, from Indonesia to Thailand. But its relationship with Malaysia is uniquely interdependent: About 300,000 people living in Malaysia commute across the border every day, while Singapore relies on water and food imports from the country next door.

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