Malaysia urges more Singaporeans to use e-gate facilities at Johor checkpoints
JOHOR BAHRU - The congestion issue at the Johor Causeway has eased after Malaysia implemented the short-term Quick Response Team (QRT) initiative, said its Immigration Department’s director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud.
Datuk Seri Khairul said allowing Singaporeans to use the electronic gate (e-gate) facilities at the two land entry checkpoints in Johor Bahru has contributed to faster clearance, but he hopes even more Singaporeans, especially day-trippers, will use the e-gates, reported The Star.
“Since this (e-gate) was allowed (for Singapore passport holders) on Jan 20, only about 16,000 Singaporeans have used the e-gate to scan their passport, much lower than our target of 35,000,” he said.
“We will be handing out fliers next week to the targeted group to create more awareness among Singaporeans, especially day-trippers who visit Johor for shopping and other recreational activities.”
Singaporeans who want to use the e-gate facility at the checkpoints must hold e-passports with a validity period of at least three months. First-time users also need to verify their biometrics at the immigration counter first.
The QRT initiative was first rolled out at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2 before it was introduced at the two checkpoints in Johor Bahru.
“It used to take the authorities about four to five hours to clear the arrival hall, which has a maximum capacity of 3,000 people,” Mr Khairul was quoted as saying in The Star.
“Now it takes about three hours to complete the immigration clearance process for the same numbers of passengers (who arrive by bus).”
Mr Khairul added that more staff members have also been deployed to man the counters at the checkpoints, especially during peak hours, since Feb 6.
He said the documentation process of about 1,400 vehicles could be done in an hour previously. After the QRT was introduced, the department can clear up to 2,300 vehicles within an hour, provided the motorists and passengers do not have clearance issues.
Since May 2022, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has also implemented the Automated Clearance Initiative, which allows eligible Malaysian citizens to be enrolled for the use of automated lanes at all checkpoints in Singapore.