JOHOR BARU: At least 12 vehicle lanes at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) in Gelang Patah will be changed into contra lanes to ease the expected huge incoming traffic from Singapore on polling day.

Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud said currently there were 48 travel lanes that were evenly divided between heading to and from Singapore at the Second Link.

“This means that we can expand the incoming lanes to 36 if necessary to control traffic (from Singapore) on Nov 19.

“We are expecting Malaysians planning to vote to start travelling from Nov 16 and return on Nov 19 evening,” he said during a press conference at the CIQ Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) here yesterday.

Despite this, Khairul Dzaimee said they were not expecting a huge spike in the number of people crossing the border.

Those travelling were expected to be only Malaysians.

Khairul Dzaimee said there were about 200,000 daily travellers who pass through BSI and 100,000 at the KSAB.

“At the moment, we have 1,200 people at BSI and 670 at KSAB,” he said.

“Our personnel are also allowed to vote via postal ballot.

“Those who are voting on Nov 19 can also opt for shift duty,” added the Immigration director-general.

Khairul Dzaimee said the department had replaced 14 out of the 20 old autogates at the BSI and the remaining six would be in full operation by Nov 15.

Others include improvements on 11 vehicle counters, with eight still in progress.

A standby maintenance team is also based on-site.

“The next phase will involve upgrades of 19 vehicle counters expected to be completed by February,” he said.