Malaysia’s federal government has given approval to allocate RM741.3 million (S$222 million) to conduct upgrading works at two Johor land border crossings, according to the Malay Mail.
These are the customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) complexes at Sultan Iskandar Building (BSI) at the northern end of Johor Causeway, as well as the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) at the Second Link.
RM27.7 million (S$8.32 million) will be used to build more motorbike (M-bike) lanes “at both the southern land entrances” to Malaysia, said the chairman of the State Public Works, Transport and Infrastructure Committee Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh in a statement.
25 exit lanes and 25 entry lanes to Malaysia will be added on top of the existing 100 lanes.
The upgrading works will be carried out in phases and would hopefully “help solve the problem of congestion that has plagued Malaysians traveling back and forth to Singapore”, Fazli added.
Several proposals were also deliberated during the Special Committee on Congestion at the Johor Causeway on Mar. 6, which was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
According to the Malay Mail, one of which is the potential merger of the bus passenger hall at KSAB, which is expected to cost RM25 million (S$7.5 million).
There were also discussions to upgrade lorry inspection counters which would cost an estimated RM30.6 million (S$9.2 million) and installing new public toilets for RM8.6 million (S$2.6 million), according to Fadillah.
He also said that manpower at land border crossings would have to undergo review in light of the surge in travellers.
Single Entry Point
Earlier, Malaysia had also put forth a proposal to establish a “Single Entry Point” at the borders, meaning that travellers would only need to clear customs only once at the Causeway between Johor and Singapore.
Fadillah said that the proposal in question would have to be refined first by the Ministry of Home Affairs along with other relevant ministries and agencies, before being brought up in Cabinet.
When Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim visited Singapore, one of the issues he discussed with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was the congestion at the border.
Anwar also appreciated PM Lee's mention of the long waiting times experienced by Malaysians travelling to Singapore for work, and said that "no issues should be left unresolved."
Top images via Wikipedia & Facebook/Imigresen Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar