Last month, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that travellers heading towards Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints can anticipate heavy traffic and delays, especially on weekends, until the end of the year due to the holiday season. But, ICA managed to curb the issue and posted on their Facebook page on 16th Dec saying that “heavy arrival and departure traffic at both Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints have subsided.”
However, one citizen rubbishes this claim as he was stuck in a severe traffic for 4.5 hours trying to return back to Singapore from Johor Bahru.
In his letter to TODAYonline, Philip Wen said that the traffic crawl was due to shortage of custom officers at the checkpoint.
“There was just one or two custom officer(s) checking cars at each of the booths. There are usually four to five booths for each of the six lanes, but only one booth was open a lane. I asked the officers why so few booths were in operation despite the huge volume of incoming cars, but did not get a reply,” he explained.
He went on to say that many people had taken toilet breaks or fell asleep in their vehicle due to the wait. “It was an incredible sight to see drivers on my left and right sleeping, while motorists behind patiently waited for them to wake from their power nap.”
Then, he said that suddenly a second booth opened “sensing that more motorists may be stepping out of their vehicles to enquire about the jam.”
Wen added that his journey from the checkpoint to Singapore took longer than his travel from Kuala Lumpur to Johor.
“The human resources department of the ICA has some explaining to do. It must be aware that with year-end heavy traffic, the booths must be fully open and manned to avoid just such a situation,” he suggested.
Although the article published on TODAYonline was written by Wen, but it came to our attention by Wen himself that the letter he sent to the news site was tweaked into something which he feels is inaccurate. Therefore, he sent us the original letter which we published on our site unedited.
After TODAYonline shared the article on their Facebook page, it received many comments from the public, with some agreeing to Wen that the lack of operating counters at Singapore is causing the road congestion.
Facebook user Jonus Jun went on further to say that this is not the first time he encountered such a situation where only limited counters are opened.
Another Facebook user, Ravi K Ramasamy, also opined that the jam is caused by ICA’s inefficiency in planning during peak time and opening less lanes for commuters.
Adding to other users’ comments, Terence JL Wee also feels that the traffic heading towards Singapore is bad because only half of the counters are operational.