On the 15th of September, massive crowds of people and vehicles were seen trying to go through the Johor Bahru (JB) customs checkpoint, leading to the intervention of local police to manage the situation.
The influx of individuals and cars created a chaotic scene, leaving many to wonder what caused this unexpected congestion. This article delves into the details of the incident and explores the potential factors contributing to such long queues.
On that evening, the Sultan Iskandar building in Johor Bahru became the epicenter of a crowded wave of people. Individuals and vehicles seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see.
Lines after lines of people were seen in several snaking queues leading towards the immigration hall of the checkpoint, and photos and videos of the situation were shared on social media platforms like Facebook.
A Call for Singapore’s Assistance
The incident occurred shortly after Malaysian Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, urged Singapore to play its part in alleviating congestion on the Causeway. This appeal was made in response to the ongoing traffic issues, which have been a longstanding concern for both countries.
The situation at JB customs on the 15th of September only served to highlight the urgency of finding a solution.
The Facebook Chronicles
Images and videos of the congestion quickly spread across various Facebook pages, offering a glimpse into the severity of the situation.
The images showed countless individuals standing in seemingly endless queues that led to the immigration hall. Inside the hall itself, the crowd was equally overwhelming. Reports from that evening indicate that the congestion persisted for several hours.
One observer even noted the presence of police officers who were actively involved in crowd control. These officers periodically allowed groups of people to ascend to the second floor of the JB checkpoint building, ensuring that the situation remained relatively orderly.
In the wake of this incident, questions arose regarding the factors contributing to such a significant turnout. One theory proposed was the increasing number of Malaysians working in Singapore, who commute daily due to the rising rental prices in the city-state.
Additionally, congestion on the road leading to the checkpoint has become a recurring issue, especially on Fridays.
The frustration of the public was evident as one individual exclaimed, “Woiiii, what about the promised extra staff?”
Malaysia Day Public Holiday
As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that the 16th of September is celebrated as Malaysia Day, marking the country’s 60th anniversary of independence.
This public holiday may have contributed to the increased number of people traveling across the border, adding to the congestion.