Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easying of the Traffic Jam at Woodlands Checkpoint?

I had wanted not to mention this man, but I have no choice to to mention him directly. Who is he? He is Mas Selamat Kastari, who is said to be the head of JI in Singapore. He was arrested under ISA, but successfully escaped from a detention centre on 27 Feb 2008. Ok, he is said to be a terrorist, who planned to hijack a plane and crash it into Changi Airport. The plan has not been materialised yet, luckily, but his escape is just equally lethal as his plan. Ever since his escape, thousands of people suffered, and Malaysians are the worst affected.

Before and on March 8, the election day in Malaysia. Thousands of Malaysians who were on their way home to vote had to walk from Marselin MRT station to the Woodlands Checkpoint. Why? The traffic jam had paralysed the public transport almost completely.

Last Thursday night, I joined the thousands who were on their way home for Good Friday holiday, and walked from Marselin MRT to Woodlands Checkpoint. On the way, all the cars were standing still. There was hardly any movement. The roads had been turned into a huge car park!

At Woodlands checkpoint, long queues everywhere, although more counters were opened to cater to the high volume. Those who were in the long queues were mostly foreigners, Malaysians included. Singaporeans are more lucky, if they hold the new passport. They can make use of the automatic clearance facility to pass. All they need to do is scan their passport, then pass with their fingerprint verified. Fast and swift :D

At Malaysia immigration, the counters for foreigners were mostly empty. The usual long queues were gone. The immigration hall looked like a ghost town.

When I came back to Singapore this afternoon. Everything was very smooth. The long queues of lorries and trucks and cars along the road leading to the Woodlands Checkpoint were suspiciously absent. I was wondering: Has Mas Selamat been captured? Or something has changed? Or just that my observation was wrong? Mmmmm...

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