Singapore and Malaysia is closely related in many aspect of life, be it social, cultural or economic and religion. Many bridges have being built over the years and it allows us to continue enjoying the peace, harmony and economical fruits so far.
Of all bridges, it is of paramount importance to enhance the physical bridges ( refer to the causeway and 2nd link ). A 3rd bridge will be the most ideal of all solution and understanding the reluctance of the other side to invest in the 3rd bridge, I advocate that Singapore has to be more proactive in pursuing this matter.
The physical challenge and hardship endured by the many thousands of Malaysian and a smaller number of Singaporean, making the daily crossing each day should be quickly be resolved. I have the notion that if some some officers from our ministries should wear the shoes of these incidental workers from Malaysia, by doing what they do for a few days, braving the heat and rain on some days, I think it will easier to appreciate what I meant.
We all know that these Malaysian are here to make a living, a better one if compared to what is offered by their own country. But this does not meant they deserved to bear the hardship. What we can as a good neighbour is to minimise it. It is human nature that we should help our neighbours, bearing in mind that they are here contributing to our economy and doing many things that Singaporean shun or simply a matter of choice we Singaporean have in term of opportunities and jobs.
If for some unknown circumstance, Singaporean have to travel north to look for greener pasture, we surely do not want to que for hours each day, to bring home bread and butter. No can guarantee that this will not happen.
Being small but doing well, I think it is necessary to be more humane to the workers from Malaysia and this includes treating them fairly at the various work place. Our aim to build a long term relationship and kinship with our neighbours is more likely to bear fruits if we put in more efforts, be it tangible or intangible.
I travel to Malaysia for work and goes regularly to JB for leisure and shopping. Each time, I witness the massive jam, my heart goes to the thousand of people in the que, not counting the huge number of trucks drivers spending hours in their hot cabin waiting for their turn. I am concerned if such daily grinding will build up some level of hatred or resentment against Singapore and Singaporean in general, if allowed to prolong further. These Malaysian have develop a sense of patience and tolerance overtime but if given an opportunity to hit back, I think they will.
Drivers in big and small cars also experienced lot of jam at the causeway, which are both unproductive and unbecoming of the efficiency that Singapore is famous of.
It is a very trying experience to having to "fight" your way with many cars ( both Malaysian and Singaporean ) squeezing and cutting into each other path, when lining up in huge and uncontrolled jam at the Malaysia side of the 2nd link . Lets do not wait till something unpleasant to happen before both side sit down to discuss and find solution. It is just plain indifferent attitude or lack of helicopter view of situation. If something nasty happen, we are at a great disadvantage because we are in foreign territory.
Both Singapore and Malaysia ICA should cooperate to find solutions to improve any situation and try their best to ensure smoother flow. For example, it is not uncommon to see in some days, during the midnight hours, Singapore side are manned by 2 or 3 booths per lane while Malaysia side have many booths open for a trickle of traffic. Long que at Singapore side form because of that. The reverse is also true at other times. Working relationship between ICA of both countries should be enhanced, similar to the relationship between the armies of both countries.
PM Lee has recently acknowledge that our border crossing is one of the most busy in the world and this should serve as a wake up call to our relevant ministries and statutory board to make improvement urgently. Singapore to lead the initiative and let it be known to all. For the sake of our social, economical and cultural well being, Singapore should put in bigger efforts to push forward this 3rd physical bridge matter and other form of bridges if not in place.
In some distant future, when we need the help of Malaysia ( be it a natural disaster or a man made one ) I hope we will not be push away. At least the very people whom we have allowed them to find a better living in Singapore can be counted for to help us, in case their government machinery is not forthcoming.
When help is needed, the fastest and most practical way is to drive or walk over to Johor to seek help or temporary refuge. Hope this will never or ever happened to Singapore because if the gate over in Johor is closed, most Singaporean will become boat refugees.