400,000 people expected to use M’sia-S’pore land route in first week of border reopening

ISKANDAR PUTERI, March 30 (Bernama) — About 400,000 travellers are expected to commute between Malaysia and Singapore through the Johor Causeway and Linkedua during the first week of the reopening of the country’s borders starting Friday.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said all the counters at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complexes namely the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB), here and the Sultan Iskandar Building in Johor Bahru will be fully operational to avoid congestions.

“During pre-pandemic times, nearly 400,000 travellers went in and out on a daily basis, so we are expecting 400,000 people for at least seven days from April 1 to 7.

“The Johor Information Department will provide infographics which will be posted on social media so that travellers know the standard operating procedures (SOP) and requirements and the most important thing is for them to download the MySejahtera application before entering Malaysia,” he said at a media conference after inspecting a dry run held at the KSAB CIQ in Tanjung Kupang, here today.

Also present was Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Onn Hafiz said nearly 2,700 officers and personnel from various departments and agencies including the Immigration Department, Customs Department, the police, the Road Transport Department and the state health department will be on duty round the clock at the CIQ complexes starting April 1.

He said Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim had also agreed for 130 volunteers from Southern Volunteers to be placed at the two CIQ complexes to assist Malaysians as well as travellers.

On the road charge waive for seven days beginning this Friday at the complexes, he thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for the announcement and for considering the state government’s application to facilitate cross-border travels.

Onn Hafiz also expressed his thanks to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof for their assistance and also to Wee who approved the state government’s application to waive the road charge of RM20 from April 1 to 7.

“This decision will surely smoothen the services and traffic flow at both the CIG complexes and vehicle owners do not have to stop to make payment and reload their Touch ‘n Go cards for a week,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wee said the road charge exemption will help to solve the congestion problem following high vehicle volume which is expected especially ahead of the Ramadan month.

He said a total of 191,263 vehicles from Singapore have registered to install the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag for the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) on their vehicles of which 65,263 vehicle owners have received the tags.

On March 25, Ismail Sabri and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong in a joint statement announced that both countries agreed to fully open the land border for fully vaccinated travellers, without the need to undergo quarantine or undertake a COVID-19 test before departure and upon arrival beginning April 1, in line with the transition into the endemic phase.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency