CNA – An average of over 165,000 people have travelled across the land checkpoints between Singapore and Malaysia daily since the borders were re-opened in April, said Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi.
Onn Hafiz revealed this during a sitting of the Johor state assembly yesterday, in response to a question by Stulang representative Andrew Chen.
Chen asked for statistics on the overall movement at border crossings at both the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar immigration complex (BSI) at the Causeway and the Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar (KSAB) at the Second Link since April 1.
The chief minister replied, “Both the Causeway and Second Link have been reinvigorated since the re-opening of borders on April 1. It brought about a positive impact to families who were separated, and boosted the state’s socio-economic situation, especially in Johor Bahru.”
“The average statistic of travellers, constituting both Malaysians and foreigners, at the BSI immigration complex was around 138,000 daily, while at the KSAB immigration complex, (we) saw 28,000 travellers entering and exiting daily.”
This amounted to around 166,000 travellers on average entering and exiting Johor from Singapore daily.
Onn Hafiz also outlined that in total, some 6.3 million Malaysians and 2.3 million travellers of other nationalities have passed through BSI at the Causeway between April 1 and June 14.
He added that during the same period, around 2.7 million Malaysians and 704,000 travellers of other nationalities passed through KSAB at the Second Link.
Onn Hafiz noted that there has been “sudden spikes” in the numbers of travellers since April 1.
“Hence, we discussed with agencies to ensure more focussed effort and commitment to guarantee the image and reputation of the state and federal government,” he said.
The chief minister added that to address the increased traffic flow, more manpower and officials have been deployed at both BSI and KSAB.
“Even though the re-opening of borders has become a reality, some Johoreans expressed complaints on some issues that have arisen (linked to cross-border movement). Me and my team will work hard to resolve the issues,” said Onn Hafiz.
“The state government will continue to work together with the federal government to improve the service levels at both immigration complexes so as to be effective (in handling congestion). The people will always be given priority,” he added.
Since the border re-opening, traffic has soared at the checkpoints.
In April, Onn Hafiz said a task force had been set up to find solutions for the congestion issue at the Causeway.
According to Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), more than 33,000 travellers cleared the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints on the first day of the border re-opening.
This climbed steadily to 149,000 travellers a day during the Good Friday weekend in April, 224,000 travellers a day during the Vesak Day weekend in May and 267,000 a day over the June 10 to 12 weekend.
On June 15, ICA warned travellers about potential heavy traffic at the land borders for the rest of the June school holidays, advising them to adjust their travel plans where possible.