JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Commuters travelling between Singapore and Johor Baru via the Causeway and the Second Link are getting frustrated with the constant traffic congestion.
The situation becomes worse during holidays and school holidays in both countries.
Motorists are unhappy that no effort is being taken to ensure that all immigration booths are open during peak hours on the Malaysian side.
The situation is made worse by additional security checks on the Singapore side and the heavy volume of vehicles during the holidays, weekends and festive seasons.
Mr Razali Raihayu, 38, an executive with a non-governmental organisation, claimed that closed immigration lanes, especially during peak hours, made the situation worse at the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) check at the Causeway.
Mr Razali, who rides a motorcycle into the republic to work daily, said it took him five hours on Saturday to enter Singapore in what used to be a two- to three-hour ride.
"Not only do we have to face delay on the Malaysian side, but the standard checks at the Singapore side is also time consuming," he said.
Clerk Majorie Chew, 25, who commutes via public bus daily, said that it took her almost an hour to catch a bus back to CIQ after stamping her passport at the Singapore Immigration during the weekend.
"The usual wait is about 20 minutes even during peak hours but I believe the additional crowd was due to the one-week school holidays," she said.
She urged bus companies to consider increasing the frequency of trips especially during holidays.
Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said many businessmen failed to keep their appointments in Singapore as they were delayed by the traffic jam.
"It took me four hours from Johor Baru to reach my destination in Singapore on Saturday," he said, adding that the closure of many immigration booths had contributed to the problem.
He said that there was no point for the state government to encourage tourists to visit from Singapore if the issue of traffic congestion was not tackled.
Johor Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said the state government was aware of the problems and viewed the matter seriously.
"For the Second Link, we are asking tourist agencies to submit their tourist information documents to the Immigration Department at least three days before travelling to Johor to avoid the congestion," he said after visiting the link here on Sunday.
Mr Tee also appealed to the public to plan their journey and do their best to avoid travelling during peak hours.