ISKANDAR PUTERI: An assemblyman has proposed that the Malaysian and Singapore authorities adopt a similar practice by the European Union countries, that of having an integrated immigration system to speed up the security processes at the Causeway and the Second Link Crossing.
K. Raven Kumar (Tenggaroh-BN) called on the authorities to consider an integrated system to tackle the growing traffic issue at both borders, especially during peak hours as thousands of Malaysians and Singaporeans were entering and exiting the two countries using the two links on a daily basis.
A journey which should take only about half-an-hour now takes more than two hours during peak hours on an average day.
“Freezing leave applications for all Immigration staff is just a short-term solution while the proposed Rail Transit System is costly,” he said in a speech during the state assembly sitting here on Tuesday.
He added that currently, travellers entering Singapore would have to go through three separate security checks starting at the Malaysian Immigration booths, the Singapore Immigration checks followed by Customs checks and the situation was vice-versa for those entering Johor from the island.
He said an individual has to go through three checks when using the Causeway in Johor Baru or the Second Link Crossing in Tanjung Kupang, Gelang Patah, contributing to the massive traffic congestion daily.
“I suggest that the Malaysian and Singapore immigration authorities hold a discussion to look into the possibility of creating an integrated system.
“If in Europe, which involves so many countries can make it happen, then why not here, where it only involves two countries,” he questioned.
When met during a break, Raven explained that the authorities could go about it two ways, one by immigration officers from both countries sharing a common booth to speed up the processes of security checks.
“If that is not feasible, then why not allow travellers to go through just one immigration check, for instance when a traveller enters Singapore, the Immigration authorities there conducts the screening while when they enter Malaysia, our side takes charge.
“I am sure with an integrated immigration system, it would be easy to track visitors entering and exiting the two countries,” he added.