I had previously alerted pedestrians who intend to walk from the Johor Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex to Singapore that they would be in for a hazardous journey.There is no dedicated lane for pedestrians, and the 'five foot way' along the vehicle road is more like a 'two foot way', or even one or no foot at times. Therefore, the oddysey down the CIQ mountain to the Causeway carries the very real risk of being knocked down by a vehicle.
I have good news and bad news - The good news is, we don't have to worry about risking our lives to go to work each morning!
The bad news is, this is because walking from the CIQ to Singapore is now not allowed at all! Apparently, it is simply too risky to allow people to walk down that harrowing road.
It looks like everyone will have to take a bus from now on, no matter how long the queue.
That said, I really must commend the police, guards and staff at the CIQ bus waiting area.
On Wednesday morning, the huge crowd of people waiting in line for the buses once again degraded into a free-for-all, squeeze-in-where-you-can melee. As usual, up to twelve or so lines chaotically converged into two lines to board the buses. It reminded me of a toilet clogged with too much toilet paper.
Then one of the officers stationed at the area began shouting for people to form an orderly queue. He even took a hands-on approach, signaling that he meant business by firmly, but not roughly, placing his hand on the shoulders of those in the fringe lines and beckoning them to the rear.
Soon the spread-out mob became an orderly double line, and wouldn't you know it - within minutes, even the back of the queue were boarding the buses! It's amazing what some order and authority can do.
I really admire the guts the officers showed when they faced down the worried, confused and harried people to sort out the mess.
However, the CIQ management really needs to give serious consideration to the problem of traffic bottlenecks and especially the total neglect of pedestrians. Just because it is a long, long way to trek, the powers that be apparently decided that no one would even attempt it.
I am definitely not the first to ask that the old customs building be reopened for pedestrians only. If they do this, all the slights we have endured will immediately be forgotten as we breath a collective sigh of relief!
SCOTT THONG YU YUEN