JOHOR BAHRU, Jan 29 — The Johor Lorry Operator Association hopes the authorities could come up with a prompt solution on the congestion problem faced by lorry drivers at the Johor Causeway and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link border gates.
Its chairman Novan Hing said drivers of Malaysian lorries laden with basic necessities to Singapore were facing serious congestion of up to 10 hours on the border at times.
He said the situation had forced the drivers to wait for the release process for a long period of time while not having access to food, drinks and toilet facilities.
“This problem has not only shackled the drivers but also caused damage to their cargoes especially vegetables and chicken,’’ he told a virtual media conference using Zoom application, here today.
Hing said if the issue was not dealt with promptly, it was feared that it would get worse with the advent of the Chinese New Year.
“The congestion is believed to be due to several factors including the strict inspections by the Department of Malaysian Quarantine Inspections Services (MAQIS) on lorries at the entry gates.
“The strict inspections are carried out due to the action of some irresponsible quarters who conducted illegal activities. However, when the inspection procedure is tightened, it creates problems for lorry operators,’’ he said.
Hing said the congestion also occurred because Singapore was implementing the Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on all lorry drivers and attendants entering the republic to detect COVID-19.
As a short-term solution to address the issue, the association suggested that the authorities took several initiatives including extending the Royal Malaysian Customs Department counter operations at both entrances to 24 houses compared to the current 12 hours.