Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One less piece of red tape

It's definitely a welcome sign by Malaysia to do away with the need to fill up the white immigration entry form at the causeway and the Second Link as part of a quiet trial run, according to The Straits Times.

While the Malaysian move may help ease the bottleneck on its end, there is another bottleneck at the Singapore immigration.

The two governments must do something more drastic to help ease the heavy traffic at the overused and congested causeway.

ST estimated about 250,000 people enter Malaysia via the causeway every day, and another 30,000 use the Second Link.

This works out to more than 100 million people a year, which is a staggering number as it is over 3 times the combined population of the two countries.

One solution could be a common immigration system, as Malaysia's earlier plan for a passport-free zone in Johor Baru didn't take off.

A common or joint immigration clearance will help ease the flow of people and goods in cars, lorries, buses and trains that use the causeway.

It's extremely unproductive for millions of people to open their car boots for immigration inspection twice, hand over their passports to unfriendly immigration officials twice, bring their luggage up and down from buses or trains twice, and pay toll twice.

But it's a tall order to expect the two governments to work together for the common good of people on both sides of the causeway.

This is because the two governments can't even agree to build a new overhead bridge to replace the causeway and clean up the filthy straits, and resolve a host of other bilateral problems.

In the meantime, many long-suffering travelers just have to think twice about using the causeway!


onlooker said...

Well Most people go to Malaysia to top up on oil that why they are there anyways.

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