Long queues expected at border due to school holiday

, National 2 minutes, 31 seconds


LONG border queues are expected when government pay is out during the school holidays later this week.

The Kuala Lurah border saw vehicles stretched to more than 500 metres away from the immigration counters yesterday.

Acting Senior Immigration Officer Hj Jaludin Hj Jumat said that yesterday’s traffic was a taste of what’s to come in the week ahead.

The officer, who has worked in the Immigration and National Registration Department for 17 years, said Friday could be the busiest day.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, he said Friday was the start of the weekend and was “the only chance for people who do not have a day off to go on holiday”.

“For several people, Fridays and Sundays are the only days they can head out. But we are gearing up for the weekdays because weekend or not, school holidays and pay day will most likely bring tonnes of people making their journey to Sabah.”

According to Hj Jaludin, the congestion could also be attributed to border crossers who were unprepared with their documents.

“To pass, you just need to make sure you meet two requirements from the Customs and Excise Department and the immigration,” he said.

He said passengers should not travel when their passports are about to expire in six months, and that those who are driving cars not owned by them should bring a letter.

“For example, if you’re going to Malaysia with your father’s car, the letter should show that your father has allowed you to use his car, gave his details and inscribed his signature on it,” he added.

Hj Jaludin hoped border cros-sers would take note of these issues to ensure a smoother and swifter process in crossing the border.

Meanwhile the Sungai Tujoh Control Post in Belait only witnessed moderate traffic for outgoing vehicles to Miri.

There was a considerable surge of vehicles flowing back to the Sultanate at 4pm yesterday, said a customs and excise officer.

The officer who declined to be named said Bruneians tended to journey over to Miri on the weekends for a one-day trip.​ “Around 8am this morning, cars were lining up roughly metres away from the post but this is usually the case on weekends,” he said.

“It could also be due to the end of school holidays in Sarawak... it is hard to say if there is an increase of cars exiting borders on Sunday due to the upcoming school holidays in Brunei.”

He added that there is usually a steady flow of cars exiting Brunei from noon until 3pm on weekends and long queues on weekdays.

“For weekdays, we usually see a queue from the Miri side as Malaysians commute to Brunei for work,” he explained.

“Consequently, there is traffic in the afternoon (from Brunei) as they return home from work.”

Harjo Prayitno, a bus driver with PHLS Express, which operates to and from Miri, said the transport agency has not seen any increase in local movement, even though school holidays have started.

The Brunei Times