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Old 14th June 2011, 03:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Causeway jam holds back frequent travellers' trips up north

Causeway jam holds back frequent travellers' trips up north

by Joanne Chan
04:47 AM Jun 14, 2011


SINGAPORE - The traffic snarl plaguing the Causeway and the Second Link on weekends is causing some frequent travellers to hold back on trips up north.

Motorists have been caught in long jams the last two weekends, with some reportedly taking up to seven hours to clear immigration.

The situation developed after Malaysia rolled out its biometric fingerprint system at the start of the month, which requires travellers to scan both index fingers in addition to getting their passports stamped.

Engineer Rene Gorada, 46, is among those who have had to adjust their plans due to the traffic jams. He organises bi-monthly golf tournaments for friends and colleagues living in Singapore.

The group, which typically consists of 50 to 70 golfers, travels to neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand for their Sunday tournaments.

Mr Gorada said half of their tournaments are staged in Johor Bahru.

He said: "You need to get to the golf course on time. Some in the group are suggesting going somewhere else, maybe Batam. But (there are) some other concerns ... going to Batam, it's a whole-day affair because you have to take a ferry. So most of the golfers still prefer Malaysia, because it's nearer. The only thing is that you really have to plan and beat the traffic jam."

Mr Gorada said the group had to leave an hour earlier - at 6am - to make the 8am tee-off.

Another golfer living in Singapore, Mr Ren Carino, said he drives to Johor three times a month to play golf.

But with the current congestion, he may decide to play in another country. Mr Carino, 51, said: "We would rather go to Batam now, or Bintan, Indonesia. These locations are looking more attractive ... there are no traffic jams to beat."

With Singaporeans avoiding the hassle of crossing the Causeway, businesses in Johor Bahru are reporting a drop in sales.

Mr P Sivakumar, president of the Malaysian Indian Business Association (MIBA), said the city heavily depends on business from Singaporeans.

"... It's of great concern at the moment, because what we're receiving is that initially the jam was seven hours, now it's around five hours, and it's not good for business," he said.

Mr Sivakumar said no formal survey had been conducted yet on how badly business had been affected. His assessment was based on feedback received from merchants.

Malaysia's Home Ministry secretary-general Mahmood Adam has said that it is "unfair to blame the biometric system for causing the congestion". Instead, he attributed it to the high volume of human traffic and daily movement between Johor Bahru and Singapore.

The other 67 checkpoints across Malaysia did not have the same problem, he noted.

But Mr Sivakumar disagreed. He said there had always been high traffic flow at the Causeway, and the jams only started after the biometric system was implemented.

Mr Sivakumar plans to make another appeal to the Malaysian government to remove the system and revert back to just stamping passports.

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore...trips-up-north

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Old 14th June 2011, 03:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Causeway jam holds back frequent travellers' trips up north

The biometric system is a joke, but 7 hours is a bit exaggerated. I was at the bckflash jam on 2 occasion just after Singapore Custom, and manage to clear the Malaysia custom in 2 hours.

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Old 14th June 2011, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Causeway jam holds back frequent travellers' trips up north

Originally Posted by zainynn View Post
The biometric system is a joke, but 7 hours is a bit exaggerated. I was at the bckflash jam on 2 occasion just after Singapore Custom, and manage to clear the Malaysia custom in 2 hours.
2 hours is considered good enough, especially now it is the school holidays season.

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Old 14th June 2011, 04:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Causeway jam holds back frequent travellers' trips up north

Maybe if it's wlds checkpoint, 7 hrs seem logic because jam in singapore alone can take about 3 hrs.

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Old 14th June 2011, 04:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Causeway jam holds back frequent travellers' trips up north

Sometimes the jam can stretch to Bukit Timah Expressway all the way down. Scary

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Old 14th June 2011, 04:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Causeway jam holds back frequent travellers' trips up north

Originally Posted by christmas_ View Post
Sometimes the jam can stretch to Bukit Timah Expressway all the way down. Scary
Yes before the jam is scary and frustrated in the Singapore side (WLDS Checkpoint). The Malaysi side, even if it's jam then was quite fast as it not bottle neck like last time, untill they start implement teh biometric system.

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