Traffic Jam at the Singapore Malaysia Causeway

Robin Low
3 min readSep 14, 2023

Singapore and Malaysia now has 2 connections via land — Woodlands and Tuas Second Link, however, the jam is getting worse, and for public holidays jams can exceed 7 hours.

The traffic jam causes delay on goods and on the sustainability side, it increases carbon emissions. Fuel is wasted when cars don’t move.

I hope that both authorities are already trying their best to alleviate the jam by opening up more lanes and increasing capacity during these peak periods. There are so many historical data to know when the peak periods are, and I just hope it is being used.

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Why Cross the Causeway?

The exchange rate and the high cost of living is one of the reasons why people cross the causeway.

Malaysians come over to Singapore to look for jobs and work because they earn a lot more after the exchange rate. When the cost across the border is half or less, earning money in Singapore and living in Malaysia can have a big cost savings.

Everyday hundreds of thousands of Malaysian Motorcycle come across the border to work — many in blue collared jobs.

It just makes me wonder why is the COE for motorcycles in Singapore so high when most of the motorcycle on the roads probably come from Malaysia. Is the COE a form of vehicle control? Or is it simple a tax on Singaporeans?

Singaporeans because of the high costs in Singapore also like to go to Malaysia to stretch their savings. The same food just cost less. Many even would brave the jams to enter, just to shop and eat. Catch a movie, have dinner in a restaurant, Malaysia is much cheaper, even in the “already expensive Johor Barhu”.

Some go to Malaysia just to escape the overcrowded Singapore and go to Nature. Singapore offers nothing in terms of Nature escape. The Lim Chu Kang area that was serene at one point is now full of construction, and soon, more houses/malls would be built in the Tengah area.

To visit a waterfall and be out of the city, Kota Tinggi is just an hour away. However, to get to many of these places out of the city, a vehicle is needed, and so this may drive up COE prices as the demand for cars is there to go to Malaysia. Taking a bus across the causeway would require long walks (on the Malaysia side) which is not suitable for the aging population, so many prefer…

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Robin Low

Author, Traveler, Innovator. Focuses on Social Impact and Innovation.