Three-day holiday sees traffic rush at border posts
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Feb 3: The long weekend, coinciding with the Chinese New Year, saw unprecedented rush of holidaymakers going to Miri and Kuala Lurah resulting in long queues at the immigration posts of both countries.
Although such heavy traffic is not unusual during the holiday season, Bruneian immigration authorities set up more booths to ease the flow of holidaymakers.
Spokespersons from the Bruneian immigration post said traffic was under control, with more booths being opened up to accommodate the heavy flow of travellers.
Another spokesperson at the Kuala Lurah Immigration Control Post said that queues were typically long during holiday season, particularly on long weekends.
Most cars, the spokesperson said, are from Miri en route to Kota Kinabalu (KK) and vice versa.
The Lunar New Year also meant more people were passing through Miri to get to their hometowns in Sabah, as well as to visit relatives in the Sultanate, added the spokesperson.
Some Bruneians also used the three-day festive weekend to drive across the border and spend the holidays in KK.
The long queue at the Kuala Lurah post began at around 8.30am on Friday, but had subsided on Saturday as most travellers had arrived at their destinations by then.
“Queues during the holidays would usually begin at 2pm, with arrivals from KK, and would sometimes exceed past 10pm,” said the spokesperson.
Easing the flow of traffic would depend on the length and source of the queue, added the spokesperson.
Excessively long queues would result in the opening of five to six booths, with only one departure booth being operational.
“If queues from both sides are equally long, then we open three booths for each,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Sungai Tujoh Immigration post said all five booths had been opened to accommodate the large number of travellers.
However, holidaymakers travelling to Miri faced delay at the immigration post.
Mohd Hadny Hadzrini, 30, who was travelling Miri with his friends, said he waited for almost three hours in the queue.
He said although many toll booths were opened, only one lane leading to the entrance of the Sungai Tujoh immigration post resulted in a bottleneck.
Hjh Siti Hairaney @ Irene Hj Shari said she was also stuck in traffic on Friday during her journey to Miri.
“We were stuck about 4km from the Sungai Tujoh immigration post at 11.30am and arrived at Miri’s immigration post at around 1pm; to be able to enter Miri at 2.30pm,” she said.
She also suggested the old Malaysian posts be cleared and the Bruneian posts be renovated.
source: The Brunei Times