On Dec 11, I took some foreign friends to Malacca for a short getaway and was shocked by the massive jam at Tuas Checkpoint.
Although I expected heavy traffic, due to the school holiday and the weekend, I did not think we would take two hours to clear the checkpoint.
Traffic was not well controlled, with many people cutting the queue, causing those who abided by the rules to be further delayed.
Few counters were open as well, compared with the Malaysian side, which had all its counters open.
When we returned to Singapore on Dec 13, we decided to play it safe and travel earlier.
It took us minutes to pass the Malaysian side. However, it was a few hours before we could clear Singapore immigration and customs checks.
Again, one of the main causes of the delay was the fact that only six out of 16 lanes were open.
Thankfully, the customs check was done while we were waiting, which saved us some time.
My friend asked me how Singapore's immigration process could be so much more inefficient than Malaysia's. I had no explanation.
If the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority is facing a manpower shortage, it should at least announce the expected waiting time to clear the checkpoint on its website.
I hope the authorities will look into this. What traveller would want to come if he has to wait hours at immigration?
We should make clearing immigration at our land checkpoints as efficient and pleasant as that at Changi Airport.
Lim Soon Teck