SINGAPORE: A proposal for a third route to be opened for pedestrians to enter the checkpoint at Johor Bahru has been approved for a trial run of two months.

Malaysian daily The Star reported on Thursday (Mar 14) that state executive councillor Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh had announced the approval from the Johor government the day before.

The path which utilizes a shortcut near Hako Hotel, is not a new one, having been used in the past. It was closed, however, during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a survey has shown that more than 10,000 people used the shortcut when it was open.

However, during a recent meeting of the Johor Works, Transportation, Infrastructure and Communication Committee on traffic congestion and road safety, using the route again was discussed.

Mr Mohamad Fazli, the committee chair, said that the green light had been given “to carry out a dry run for about two months. We will start this and see if there are any problems. If everything is okay, we will bring up the matter again to get approval for the route to be gazetted as official access to get to the (Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex) BSI.”

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Pedestrians are able to get to the checkpoint through Jalan Jim Quee and Jalan Tun Razak beside City Square.

While an en exact date for the start of the trial run has not been announced, it is expected to begin shortly.

Mr Mohamad Fazli said that he will make a final presentation to Johor Chief Minister Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi this week and once approved, preparations will begin.

He cautioned however that they might “need about two to three weeks to get everything prepared before starting the dry run,” but added that the start of the trial run will be officially announced.

“There are currently no direct routes to the BSI. The two entrances ing Jalan Jim Quee and Jalan Tun Razak allow people to get to the CIQ through JB Sentral.

“If this shortcut is to be gazetted, people would then have direct access to the CIQ without having to go through JB Sentral,” said Mr Mohamad Fazli.

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The border between Malaysia and Singapore is one of the most widely used in the world, with 300,000 people or more using it daily. Many of them are Malaysians who work in Singapore.

The clamor for the shortcut to open again has been heard recently, as it would save many commuters a 1.5 km walk. Many of those who have called for the shortcut to open are pregnant women. /TISG

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