Malaysia to have clearer picture on easing Causeway jams in 6 months, Latest World News - The New Paper

Malaysia to have clearer picture on easing Causeway jams in 6 months

This article is more than 12 months old

Foreign Minister Saifuddin says move to open more counters at checkpoints only a short-term fix

JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian government will get a clearer picture within the next six months on the ways to overcome congestion at the Causeway.

Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said both countries had discussed the overcrowding at the Causeway in which an estimated 265,000 commuters cross the link on a daily basis.

"We have discussed the problems and it is expected that in the next six months, we will get a clearer picture," he said.

"At the moment, we are looking at short-term solutions such as adding more counters but this is still limited due to lack of space at the CIQ (Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex)," he said, after attending a seminar on global issues in Johor Baru on Tuesday.

Both Malaysia and Singapore leaders had stressed their commitment to address traffic woes at their land checkpoints following their talks at the Singapore-Malaysia Leaders' Retreat on April 9.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had noted that traffic congestion on the Causeway and the Second Link remains a major problem for commuters and was a priority for Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir said the CIQ facilities could include improvements in physical infrastructure, a review of interboundary policies and regulations, and improvements in the quality of cross-border services.

In a separate development, Dr Mahathir said efforts by Pakatan Harapan to deliver the promises it had made during the last general election have been hindered by financial constraints. He said there were many things that the Pakatan government wanted to do for the people. However, its plans could not be carried out because of the government's financial situation.

"We have a lot of problems. Believe me, we don't have the money. It has been stolen, that is the main problem," he said.

He was questioned on Council of Eminent Persons chairman Daim Zainuddin's statement that the Pakatan government was expected to deliver on promises made in the 14th General Election in six months.

Mr Daim said he expected the people to return to supporting the government once it delivered on its promises, especially by paying more attention to the economy. - THE STAR