BEATING THE RUSH
Others in Singapore have taken measures to avoid the Causeway jams over the Chinese New Year holiday.
Singaporean Tian Yufan drove into Johor Bahru with his parents and brother at about 1am on Thursday, to beat the crowds.
“For a 1am crowd, it was actually quite bad. We waited 30 minutes (to cross the border),” he told CNA.
“That’s actually quite long, because usually at 1am there’s no waiting at all. I think it’ll get worse over the next few days.”
The family then took a flight to Kuching on Friday, which they booked for RM400 (S$123) right after Malaysia announced its reopening of borders last year.
“If we go one day earlier, at least some shops are still open for us to buy any last minute stuff, or eat some food outside because a lot of shops will close during the New Year,” said Mr Tian.
This will be his first time heading back to Kuching to celebrate Chinese New Year with his father’s family, since 2020.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s been a really long time. I think because everyone over there didn’t really celebrate for the past two years, so a lot of people are going back, and we’ll get to see a lot of people,” Mr Tian said.
Ms Lee Yun Xuan, 27, plans to leave Singapore with her parents, siblings and uncles at 2am on Saturday, and make the drive to Melaka via Woodlands Checkpoint.
“Usually, the way we have always been heading back (is) about 4 to 5am, always wake up early and head back to Malaysia to avoid jams,” she said.
“For this year, we are thinking that there might still be jams … so we wanted to do it even earlier.”
They hope to cross the border by 3am, and reach Melaka early on Saturday morning.
This will be Ms Lee’s first time going back to Malaysia since the pandemic.
“I just got my Singaporean citizenship, so it’s kind of just nice,” she added, sharing that she could not return to Malaysia previously because she had not gotten her passport.
“I’m excited because it’s been long since we had that whole extended family in Malaysia, kampung kind of vibe. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Malaysian Hoo Yan Han, 28, will also be driving across to Johor Bahru – and then on to Muar – on Saturday, but later in the afternoon.
Her family members cannot leave any earlier because of work commitments.
They hope to reach Muar in under five hours.
“We were actually strategising how to avoid the jam, and we were thinking this year maybe we’ll try going later. Because Muar is kind of near Singapore, it’s closer than Kuala Lumpur,” said Ms Hoo, adding that it’s usually a three to four hour drive.
“So we were thinking maybe we can try leaving in the late afternoon … hopefully we can make it in time for dinner.”