PETALING JAYA: Almost 250,000 people left Singapore for Malaysia via the Woodlands and Tuas crossings on Thursday, the highest since the land borders reopened in April last year.
The Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said the surge in travel was due to the Wesak Day long weekend and the June school holiday season.
“We also seek travellers’ understanding and cooperation to be patient, observe traffic rules, maintain lane discipline and cooperate with officers on-site when using the land checkpoints,” The Straits Times quoted the ICA as saying today.
It also reported a long queue on the Malaysian side, “with people packed shoulder to shoulder”, entering the immigration hall at the Sultan Iskandar Building in Johor Bahru.
Two commuters headed to Malaysia expressed their frustration over a long waiting time of three to six hours and the failure of the electronic gates at the immigration checkpoint.
One woman claimed the e-gate failure led everyone to manual counters, but they were faced with officers who were “stamping passports very slowly”, with people not falling in line.
“The hall was already super full, so everyone was just pushing and squeezing among one other,” bank analyst Yang Peijun said.
According to a report, the Good Friday weekend in April saw 1.4 million travellers crossing land checkpoints, with an average of 235,000 people leaving and entering Singapore each day.