On Raya eve, commute home a breeze for most

Malaysians get ready to head back to their hometowns for the Raya holiday June 14, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Malaysians get ready to head back to their hometowns for the Raya holiday June 14, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — For Malaysians returning to their hometowns this Raya season, the mad rush started as early as yesterday.

But those taking public transport this afternoon and evening told Malay Mail that travelling looks to be smooth, and they hope for a calm and peaceful journey back home.

Masytah Saad, 45, who hails from Penang, said she did not have a problem acquiring a train ticket home despite initial worries that seats would be sold out.

“Every year it's the same, it's a struggle getting tickets home but this year it was less of a hassle,” she said.

“I booked my train ticket home last minute, I wasn't expecting seats to be available and I was prepared to use a different way back to Butterworth since I only checked for availability two days ago.”

“On top of that, I managed to book tickets for my two children as well, I was pleasantly surprised,” said the 45-year-old who had been living in Kuala Lumpur for two decades.

She added that her siblings from other states like Kelantan and Selangor who travelled to Penang on Monday did not encounter traffic problems either.

“They're already back in Penang, they arrived without a hitch,” said Masytah.

Her husband Badroel Hisham Bahar, 45, also hoped for clear roads as he travelled to Penang next week.

“I won't be going to Penang with my wife and children as I will be in Klang with my own family,” he said.

“When I travel up north in a few days, I hope the roads will be clear. We all know roads to Penang can be very congested during this period.”

But for 26-year-old Vanessa Vivian, who was also travelling to Penang, purchasing a train ticket was a two week ordeal.

“I logged onto the booking site everyday for two weeks to get my ticket home,” she said.

“I was desperate because I had a meeting to attend, but thankfully I managed to get a ticket.”

Thankfully, Vanessa had made sure to buy her return ticket when booking for Penang.

“It's like this every year for me, I don't know why I didn't book my seat earlier.”

Siblings Ngoi Fong Ting and Ngoi Fong Li, on the contrary, enjoyed smooth travels last week.

The two university students had just enrolled into college and travelled from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur for their orientation.

With Hari Raya fast approaching, they had predicted heavy traffic on roads.

“When we first arrived here, we were taken by the empty roads, perhaps it was because people were heading out of the city instead,” said Fong Ting.

“With that being said, I hope we won't have difficulty getting back to Sitiawan from Taiping when we reach there.”

Yesterday, the Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) reported heavy traffic on both north and east bound routes.

At press time, traffic is reported to be slow from Slim River to Sungkai, Tapah to Gopeng, Jelapang to Terowong Menora, R&R Sg Perak to Kuala Kangsar, Perai to Permatang Pauh and Gurun to Pendang.

Live updates on traffic conditions can be found at MHA’s Twitter account here.