Easing motorcyclists’ woes

A motorcyclist demostrating how to use the MBIKE system. –filepic

JOHOR BARU: Long queues were still evident on the first day of implementation of the MBIKE pilot project.

The trial run which began yesterday will continue until Dec 8 at the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ).

Motorcyclists like IT solution engineer S. Sarguneshwara, 26, said they still faced delays yesterday.

He said people would need time to get used to the automated border control system.

“I really hope there will be less chaos in the motorcycle lanes during peak hours, especially in the morning when people are rushing to work.

“There were still long queues at the CIQ as very few counters were operational.

“Under the new system, we had to scan our passports on our own,” he noted.

Previously, immigration officers would manually clear the motorcycles.

The MBIKE system is expected to benefit some 60,000 Malaysian motorcyclists travelling to Singapore daily, mainly for work.

It is similar to the autogates placed at all entry and exit points in Malaysia.

The system uses a radio frequency identification device (RFID) sticker attached to the holder’s passport, requiring him to place his thumb on the reader before the gantry gate opens.

Executive Abu Hurayrah Basir, 38, said he had registered and received RFID stickers a few weeks ago.

“I hope it will make my journey into Singapore smoother.”

A motorcyclist who wanted to be known only as Nanz, 28, said the authorities should open more booths for the registration of the MBIKE RFID sticker application.

“I hope the MBIKE system would be well maintained to avoid any interruption during peak hours,” said Nanz who has been working and travelling to Singapore daily for about five years.

Johor Immigration director Datuk Rohaizi Bahari said the trial run involves four counters at both exit and entry points in the CIQ.

He said that those who have not registered for the RFID stickers could still do so at the one-stop centre located at both entry points, adding that those who did not possess the sticker could still go in manually.

Rohaizi said a total of 50 and 25 MBIKE entry and exit counters are expected to run at the CIQ and Second Link crossing, respectively, after they have finalised the system.

The MBIKE system is expected to put an end to the issue of motorcyclists riding into Singapore without scanning their passports.

Each year, dozens of Malaysian and foreign motorcyclists are jailed or fined for entering or leaving the country without stopping to present their passports at the Johor Causeway and Second Link.

In the first nine months of this year, some 104 local and foreign motorcyclists have been detained for such offences at both the checkpoints.

Offenders face fines of between RM1,500 and RM1,800, in default two or three months’ jail.

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