M'sia proposes letting travellers at Causeway clear customs only once to ease congestion

The proposal is still in the initial stages.

Matthias Ang | February 03, 2023, 03:24 PM

Malaysia has put forth a proposal for travellers to clear customs only once at the Causeway between Johor and Singapore, The Star reported.

According to Johor's works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman, Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh, this proposal will entail stationing Singapore's immigration officers at Malaysia's checkpoint to clear travellers entering Singapore, and likewise, placing Malaysia's immigration officers in Singapore to clear people heading into Malaysia.

Fazli, who also heads a multi-agency task force that seeks to ease congestion at both the Causeway and the Second Link, was further quoted as saying:

"This proposal is still at the initial stages. This will be similar to the system that will be used when the Rapid Transit System operations begin in 2026."

Johor also looking at increasing number of motorcycle lanes

Fazli also said the state of Johor was seeking additional funds to increase the number of motorcycle lanes at the Causeway from 50 to 75.

In addition, there is a proposal for lorry lanes to be utilised for passenger traffic during the weekends.

Fazli's statements followed an appeal by Johor Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) Onn Hafiz Ghazi to Malaysia's prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, over the congestion at the Causeway.

The Star additionally reported that Hafiz had brought up the matter to Anwar during his visit to Singapore on Jan. 30.

Hafiz had highlighted to the prime minister that an average of 150,000 Malaysian commuters have to wake up at 4am to queue at the Causeway by 5am so as to make it in time for work.

As for their return home, Hafiz was quoted as saying, "By the time they return to Malaysia and make it through the jam, it is already 10pm... have some sympathy for them."

Malaysian commuter: Congestion seems to be more severe in Singapore due to lack of staff

At least one Malaysian commuter was also quoted by The Star as saying that the congestion appeared to be more severe on the Singapore side due to a lack of staff.

The commuter, N. Loganathan, said, "We can clear the Malaysian side within 30 minutes, but sometimes we get stuck in Woodlands for as long as two hours as many counters are closed."

However, the jam that occurs frequently at the Causeway can be attributed to the sheer number of travellers trying to cross the borders.

Another motorcyclist called for a "dedicated" motorcycle lane at the Second Link, citing safety issues stemming from cars and lorries driving in close proximity to motorcyclists.

Mothership has contacted the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for more information on the matter.

Top photo via Getty