Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Same old sight

More than a quarter of the population in Singapore must have headed to Malaysia during the Chinese New Year.

This is based on the figure of about 1.35 million travellers that passed through the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints on five days of the festivities last year, according to Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority in a ST report this evening.

And as in previous years, many were caught in a massive crawl at the Singapore-Malaysia border. This is seen in the ST picture showing the gridlock at the causeway, which links Singapore and Johor Baru in Malaysia. The report said vehicles were backed up several kilometres. Horns blared and tempers flared as motorists saw their chances of making it on time for their reunion dinner.

Their need to return for their reunion dinner reflects the close family ties on both sides of the causeway.

A friend had to drive 300km from KL to JB to pick up her husband, who works in Singapore. They then braved another 300km back to KL. This is because he couldn't get ticket for any mode of Singapore-KL transportation -- bus, the slow KTM train or new budget airlines.