News

M'sians studying in S'pore late for school

When he reached the bus station at the Malaysian Customs early yesterday, he was greeted with a chaotic sight.

The place was packed with people, just sitting around.

It was about 5.30am and Marsiling Secondary School student Muhd Azmin Azman, 17, was on his way to school.

He usually takes bus service 170 to get across the Causeway, but there was not a bus in sight.

Seeing a large crowd walking towards Singapore on the Causeway, he decided to follow suit.

Azmin told The New Paper: "I saw some Malaysian Customs officers standing on the road, managing the crowd which was walking across.

"I felt very frustrated as I was sweating early in the morning and I was late for school. I came in at 8am - 40 minutes late."

But he was not punished because his teachers knew about the strike.

CROWDED

Azmin said that two out of four Malaysian students in his class did not turn up,probably because of the chaos at the checkpoint.

Another student from the school, Pang Yi Loong, 15, said he was supposed to take a workers' bus, but there was none yesterday morning.

He said: "There was no transport at all, not even (bus service) 170. The bus station was very crowded when I got there at about 5.30am.

"Factory workers were sitting everywhere, on the road and on the floor. It was really difficult to even walk through."

He decided to walk to Singapore on the Causeway.

"Even the bus stop right outside Woodlands Checkpoint was packed with people.

"In the end, I had to walk all the way to school (in Marsiling Road)," said Yi Loong.

A Ministry of Education spokesman said the ministry and schools are monitoring the situation and working with parents to make advance arrangements for their children, should the need arise.

- YUE YONG SHENG