JOHOR BARU: Malaysia has proposed a “single clearance system” to ease acute traffic snarls along the Johor Causeway linking Singapore and the country.
Johor works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh said under this system, clearance would only be done on either side of the border once.
“This means Singapore’s immigration officers will be stationed at our checkpoints in Johor to clear people entering the republic, while Malaysian immigration personnel will be deployed in Singapore to clear those entering Malaysia.
“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,” he told The Star.During the recent visit of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to Singapore, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi had appealed for the traffic situation at the Causeway, one of the world’s busiest land crossings, to be brought under control, saying that regular commuters, numbering about 150,000, were being greatly inconvenienced.
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He claimed that the majority of commuters had to get up at 4am to queue at the Johor Baru border checkpoint by 5am, to get through the traffic gridlock for work or business and return late at night.
Mohamad Fazli, who heads a multi-agency taskforce looking into easing congestion at the Causeway and Second Link in Tuas, said Johor was also seeking additional funds to increase motorcycle lanes from 50 to 75 each way.
He said there was also a proposal for lorry lanes to be used for passenger traffic during weekends.
Asked about traffic situation during the Chinese New Year, he said all booths at both checkpoints were fully operational.
Malaysian N. Loganathan, 48, said there seemed to be more congestion on the Singapore side due to a lack of personnel at the Woodlands checkpoint.
“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,” he lamented, adding that the situation was expected to worsen after the Chap Goh Meh, when most people return to work.
Motorcyclist Omar Kamison, 35, proposed a dedicated motorcycle lane at the Second Link for people arriving from Singapore.
“On weekends, many cars and lorries end up driving very close to us, resulting in accidents,” he said, adding that there is such a lane on the Johor side.