JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Congestion at the Causeway and Tuas Checkpoint was worse than usual on Monday (April 1), the first day Singapore began a clampdown on all foreign vehicles with outstanding fines.
Many Malaysians travelling into Singapore for work started their work week stuck in traffic at the Causeway and Second Link near Gelang Patah.
Among them was Ms Kathleen Ann Kili, 28, who said that the congestion at the Tuas Checkpoint was much worse because drivers stopped to pay their fines - which they had incurred for traffic, parking or vehicular emission violations - while some were denied entry to Singapore and forced to turn back.
"The checkpoint booths at the Malaysian side are not enough, which is the first cause of congestion. Now with the ban, the situation gets from bad to worse," said Ms Kili.
"People usually go around 5am to catch the first bus and avoid the rush, but what I have experienced is beyond words, because more people are opting to use buses," she added.
"It will take time for people to be accustomed to this change because we cannot expect people to pay their outstanding fines quickly, so like it or not, we have to bear with it."
Another commuter Mohd Faiz Mustaffa, a 31-year-old factory worker, said there was nothing new with Singapore's ban, as the regulation had long been practised.
"It is their country. Like it or not, we just have to follow their laws," he said.
As of February, drivers of foreign vehicles had accumulated about 400,000 outstanding fines amounting to $32 million.
Singapore authorities reminded foreign motorists last week to pay their fines before April 1, or risk being denied entry into Singapore.
Motorists can check whether they have outstanding fines at www.axs.com.sg.