The traffic situation at the Causeway was reportedly at a near complete standstill, with commuters stuck for hours on end.
Fed up with the snaking queues for the vehicle lanes on the Causeway on Thursday morning, Dec. 17, 2015, people entering Singapore took to crossing on foot instead and caused the pedestrian lanes to be gridlocked as well.
According to Malaysian media and photos posted on social media, the traffic in Johor Baru was completely stalled on Thursday as close to 120,000 vehicles headed into Singapore via the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) in view of the holiday season, which most likely included the usual influx of Malaysians who come to Singapore to work.
This was triple the usual traffic. Things are not looking good for Friday as well.
Compounding the problem of the holiday crush was the stepped-up security at checkpoints into Singapore after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
And to further make matters worse, the Malaysians claimed that the pedestrian walkway to enter Singapore was closed despite Malaysians starting their journey at around 4am.
中國報訊：關卡過不了，馬勞紛紛打道回府！ 新加坡關卡行人通關處相信為了控制人流量，避免蜂湧擠在關卡櫃台，今早約7時傳出將入口處大門暫時關上，數千名馬勞被拒於門外，不少人在走到半途時，就決定折返，以免白走一趟。 新加坡關卡近來加強戒備，導致通關時間延長，為避免塞車遲到，從12月起，選擇步行越堤的馬勞暴增，豈料今早卻傳出因通關入口處關閉的消息，許多人也擔心不知道要在長堤中間等候多久，只好打道回府，並致電向公司請假。本報七早八早採訪：謝心昉報導／張來星攝影進一步詳情，請留意《中國報》！Posted by China Press Negeri Johor 柔佛州《中國報》 on Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The jams then began at about 5am, with the pedestrian gates and lorry lanes apparently only opening after 6am.
This caused many problems, especially for the lorry drivers:
"Apart from being late in the delivery of their consignment, many also had to endure a full bladder after being stuck in traffic for so long," Tan said.
The gridlock for both humans on foot and on wheels will most likely not end anytime soon due to the prohibitions and stepped-up security checks of varying degrees on both sides, where the solution of walking over is not even viable.
According to The Straits Times, July 2, 2015, crossing the Causeway on foot is only acceptable for Singapore's side:
Malaysia unilaterally prohibited walking across the Causeway after the CIQ complex opened in 2010, citing "security" reasons, even though Singapore still allows the long-standing practice.
Since early December, ICA had already warned Singaporeans travelling to Malaysia via the Causeway and Second Link are to expect delays due to heightened security measures and to expect heavier traffic during the year-end school and festive holidays.
An estimated 430,000 travellers use the checkpoints daily during this period.
The ICA has assured that they use various methods to manage the heavier traffic, including flexible deployment of staff and diverting traffic to different lanes, such as allowing cars to use lanes normally assigned to lorries.