Heavy traffic at Woodlands Checkpoint due to enhanced security checks after attack on Ulu Tiram police station

Traffic jam on the Causeway towards Singapore from Johor Bahru on May 19, due to enhanced security measures at Woodlands Checkpoint. - ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Motorists entering Singapore on the evening of May 19 faced heavy traffic at Woodlands Checkpoint due to enhanced security checks.

“Delays are expected and travellers are to postpone non-essential travel,” said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority in a Facebook post at about 8.40pm. “Those who are currently at Woodlands Checkpoint are advised to cooperate with officers on site.”

A check of the Beat The Jam app at about 11pm showed that travellers crossing the Causeway could expect to take between three and four hours to enter Singapore, while those using the Second Link in Tuas may take 1½ to 2½ hours.

Bus services 160 and 170/170X are also expected to be delayed due to heavy traffic along the Causeway, said SBS Transit on social media platform X at 10.50pm.

The ramping up of security checks follows an attack on a police station in Ulu Tiram in Malaysia’s Johor state on May 17.

Two Malaysian police officers were killed, and another injured, after they were attacked by an intruder previously believed to be a member of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a militant group linked to Al-Qaeda.

People walking across the Causeway at 11pm on May 19, 2024, from Johor Bahru to Singapore amid a huge traffic jam. - ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEEPeople walking across the Causeway at 11pm on May 19, 2024, from Johor Bahru to Singapore amid a huge traffic jam. - ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

A 47-year-old administrative manager who wanted to be known only as Ms Ling said she was stuck in the jam from about 7pm to 10pm.

Security officers were conducting checks on every vehicle at Woodlands Checkpoint, she said. There were also many people who opted to cross the Causeway on foot.

In a statement issued on May 18, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs said it has stepped up security measures, including at checkpoints, in view of the heightened threat situation, and that the Malaysian police are looking for JI members.

These measures include increased patrols and enhanced checks on travellers, said the ministry, adding that additional time for immigration clearance should be taken into consideration.

May 19 also marked the start of intermittent closures of the motorcycle lane on the Causeway. This is to facilitate Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link works, according to Malaysia’s Mass Rapid Transit Corporation.

From May 19 to 20, as well as May 24 to June 5, excluding the weekends, the works are slated to be carried out from 8pm to 3am in Woodlands on the Singapore-bound lane, and from 10pm to 5am in Johor Bahru on the Malaysia-bound lane. - The Straits Times/ANN

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