Malaysia to implement automated immigration clearance for motorcycles at JB checkpoints

Malaysian-registered motorcycles leaving the Woodlands checkpoint.
Malaysian-registered motorcycles leaving the Woodlands checkpoint. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Motorcyclists will have an easier time entering and exiting Johor Baru, as Malaysia plans to implement automated immigration clearance facilities at both the Causeway and Second Link.

It will have 100 M-BIKE lanes at the Causeway and 50 lanes at the Second Link for bikers and pillion riders to scan their passports, a joint statement issued by both countries said.

No timeframe was given for when this will be ready.

But the system is similar to that used by Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) known as BIKES II - where riders at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints can scan thumbprints and have passports verified by a machine at 164 counters by end-2016.

These facilities are one of several measures to strengthen transport connectivity that officials from both sides discussed when they met in Singapore on Tuesday for the 12th Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee Meeting for Iskandar Malaysia.

The meeting marks the 10th year of collaboration since the committee was set up in 2007 to look at how both neighbours can work together in the economic zone in South Johor.

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure Khaw Boon Wan, who is also Transport Minister, co-chaired the meeting with Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Wahid Omar.

Also present were Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin and Singapore National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, and senior officials from both countries.

The committee also discussed the progress of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project and the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link.

On the high speed rail project, officials noted that "discussions on the commercial, regulatory, security and technical issues are ongoing". The work group overseeing the project recently completed a request for information exercise on the project's commercial model and procurement approach.

The committee also "discussed preparations towards the conclusion of a bilateral agreement between the two countries", and pledged to implement the project "expeditiously, bearing in mind its scale and complexity".

It also welcomed Malaysia's confirmation that Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru will be the terminus location for the RTS that will be linked to Woodlands North MRT station.

The RTS is now in the second phase of a joint engineering study, and the committee said it "looked forward to its commencement".

Officials also discussed tie-ups in industrial cooperation, tourism and the environment.