Johor Bahru Checkpoint Hit by Power Outage, Leading to Extended Delays
In October of the previous year, travelers experienced a significant inconvenience as they navigated their journey from Malaysia to Singapore in total darkness due to a power outage.
Echoing this incident, another power outage struck the Johor Bahru (JB) checkpoint early on the morning of 6 Dec, plunging the area into the deep darkness characteristic of the early hours.
When a power outage occurs, the impact is immediately felt.
@mat_threesixzeroJb Problem ✨️✨️✨️♬ Instrumen Melayu – Andijul maruf
Escalators cease to function, and in an era heavily reliant on AI and technology, the processing of passports becomes a daunting task in a checkpoint devoid of power.
This was the reality faced by those at the JB checkpoint, as Malaysian immigration officers resorted to manually processing passports amidst the blackout.
Under normal circumstances, queues at the JB checkpoint are notoriously long.
Imagine, then, the additional delays and complications when automation is replaced by manual processing in near-complete darkness.
Reports from Lianhe Zaobao stated that the power outage at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) checkpoint building began at around 11 pm on 5 December, and this disruption extended into the morning peak hours of the following day.
This interruption in service significantly affected commuters, particularly those traveling to Singapore for work.
Ms Liu, a 28-year-old witness, recounted to Lianhe Zaobao that her passage through the checkpoint took nearly twice as long as usual, approximately an hour, during this outage.
The power was reportedly restored around 10 am, marking almost 12 hours of disruption.
This inconvenience was not confined to the pedestrian area of the checkpoint.
Vehicels travelling to Singapore on the JB side of the Causeway was also severely impacted, with cars and motorbikes caught in a standstill, honking in frustration but unable to move. Power-less, literally.
Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi expressed his distress and embarrassment on Facebook, highlighting the significant impact on users and the state’s reputation.
He shared a letter from Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in his post, which indicated a temporary halt in electricity supply to several areas, including the CIQ complex and JB Sentral, from 8 pm on Tuesday to 4 am on Wednesday.
This scheduled outage included the JB checkpoint.
And what had angered many people was that this letter was written to be issued on 27 Nov, more than a week before 6 Dec today.
Ministry Onn Hafiz stated that TNB and the infrastructure authority Jabatan Kerja Raya were directed to address the outage promptly.
In the wake of the incident, netizens and those affected by the power failure expressed their views that better preparation could have mitigated the disruption.
Suggestions included the provision of emergency lighting and prior notification of the outage – at least people can prepare to leave earlier.
The incident left many Malaysians feeling disappointed, particularly due to its impact on the image of Malaysia in the eyes of those traveling to Singapore.
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