ISKANDAR PUTERI, March 30 — The Johor state government expects about 400,000 people to make the crossing between Malaysia and Singapore in the first week of the land border reopening on Friday.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said the 400,000 figure was an estimate based on the number of travellers who traversed the route before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“During the pre-pandemic period, we had a record of about 400,000 travellers, which is the number of people who entered and exited the country within a day.
“So we expect this figure to start entering and exiting our country’s borders for seven days starting April 1.
“This is the reason that I appeal to those who will enter Johor to be patient,” said Onn Hafiz during a press conference after visiting the Sultan Abu Bakar Building’s Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security Complex (ICQS) in Tanjung Kupang here today.
Present during the visit was Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and senior government agency officials.
Earlier, it was reported that the federal government had agreed to grant a seven-day toll exemption for all types of vehicles at the Malaysia-Singapore border in conjunction with the reopening of land routes between the two countries.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the exemption involves the ICQS toll plaza of the Sultan Iskandar Building (Johor Causeway) and the Sultan Abu Bakar Building (Second Link Crossing) in Johor.
Onn Hafiz said the state government also expects traffic congestion during the initial stages of the border reopening which involves the two main land entrances.
However, he expressed confidence that the matter will be properly managed, apart from the earlier announcement on the toll payment exemption to enter the country that can reduce the travelling time.
“For Immigration Department counters, they will be fully open and 100 per cent operational to help reduce the congestion level.
“Besides that, both the Immigration Department and Customs Department have also increased their respective officers at the two locations.
“Almost 2,700 officers and personnel will be on duty round-the-clock starting April 1,” said Onn Hafiz.
The main Johor Causeway connects the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar’s CIQ in Johor Baru to Woodlands in Singapore. The Second Link Crossing, located near Gelang Patah in Iskandar Puteri, is the second land route connecting the Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex in Johor to Tuas in Singapore.
For the record, there are 40 Immigration Department counters in the Sultan Iskandar Building in Johor Baru and 24 counters in the Sultan Abu Bakar Building in Tanjung Kupang.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, it is estimated that more than 250,000 Malaysians enter and exit Singapore from Johor via both the Johor Causeway in Johor Baru and the Second Link Crossing daily.
Both border checkpoints have been described as one of the world’s busiest international border crossings.