Surge of S’poreans expected as school holidays begin

Long wait: Heavy traffic seen along the Causeway between Johor and Singapore. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: The country’s land checkpoints with Singapore are expected to be crowded as travellers from the island republic come in droves with their long school holiday starting today.

With the large number of travellers expected to cross the Causeway and Second Link, the Immigration Department is taking protective measures to ease traffic congestion at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) and Sultan Abu Bakar (KSAB) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complexes.

Johor Immigration Department director Baharuddin Tahir said all immigration counters at both BSI and KSAB will be opened.

“There are 284 Immigration counters at BSI and 169 counters at KSAB, and they will stay open during this period due to the school holiday in Singapore until March 17.

“We will also be activating contra-flow lanes for cars and buses to help with the traffic flow at the two checkpoints,” he said here yesterday.

Baharuddin added that contra-flow lanes have helped ease traffic congestion at BSI and KSAB during peak hours for previous major events such as festive celebrations.

He also reminded travellers from Singapore to always make sure they have the proper travel documents before starting their journey to Malaysia.

Baharuddin said these travellers must also make sure that there is enough balance in their Touch n’ Go cards to pay for the road charges at BSI and KSAB.

Last year, over 13 million Singaporeans entered Johor via the Causeway and Second Link.

They are the highest number of foreign tourists to enter the state, which recorded more than 16 million foreign tourists in 2023, with Indonesia and China in second and third places respectively.

On Monday, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that those planning to travel to Malaysia during the March school holiday should factor in additional waiting times.

The agency said it expects “very heavy traffic” at both its Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints between March 8 and 18.

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