Malaysians recount Hari Raya traffic horror tales

KUALA LUMPUR: This year's Raya post-congestion has been one of the worst, as people reported being stuck for up to 30 hours from the East Coast to Klang Valley yesterday.

Daniel Riaz Shuami, 23, said the journey from Pasir Mas, Kelantan to Shah Alam took 30 hours to arrive at the destination.

"I think this is the worst congestion I have ever gone through, as almost half of the 30 hours were spent on the journey in Kelantan alone.

"At first, I wanted to take the East Coast Expressway, but the traffic was so bad that even a 12km trip took two-and-a-half hours.

"So I decided to turn around and go through Gua Musang, but there was congestion there too. Eventually, I passed through Cameron Highlands and continued on towards the Perak highway," he said.

Daniel said the journey started at 5pm on Saturday, and he arrived at Shah Alam at 11.50pm the following day using both highways and rural area roads.

He said he took various types of roads that he had never travelled before just to avoid congestion.

"I took roads I'd never driven before, such as ones that ran beside rice fields, village dwellings, oil palm plantations, rivers, and through forests.

"Not only that, we had a hard time finding places to eat, restrooms and rest areas. But we're thankful because some residents along the roads we passed offered us restroom breaks and provided free water," he said.

Nur Athirah Zaid, 23, said that her journey from Kuala Krai to Port Dickson, which usually takes 10 hours, turned into a 19-hour ordeal during this year's Hari Raya.

Her journey started at 4.30am and she arrived at 9.15pm.

Athirah said she took a shortcut route through Cheroh, which is supposed to be a rural area but ended up more congested than the highways.

"Anyone using Waze would use the same road. However, I was stuck for almost an hour because others took the same road to avoid the congestion on the highway," she said.

She said that she had to release and pull the handbrake every 300 metres from Gua Musang to Gombak, making the journey extremely slow.

"Rest and Service Areas (RnR) were also congested with people seeking a break and trying to avoid the traffic. The congestion became more apparent near toll booths along the journey.

"Alhamdulillah, despite the severe congestion, everything is fine.

"I have to accept the fact that this is the worst traffic I have ever experienced.

"Despite the presence of smart lanes, in severe congestion like this, the smart lanes are no different from regular lanes," she added.

Similarly, Huzaime Salleh, 36, experienced the same thing on his journeys going back to Rawang from Perak, which took nine hours.

He said usually it only took them two-and-a-half hours to arrive at the destination, even during the previous year going back to celebrate Eid.

"Last year, we also experienced traffic congestion despite making frequent stops at RnR, but it was never as bad as this time around," he said.

Another driver, Nur Razan Sharudin, 22, shared the same situation when trying to return home from Kuala Terengganu to Nilai.

He described the village roads as narrow, bumpy, and full of turns.

"I used the village road instead of the highway and my journey took about eight hours, while my aunt used the highway and her journey took almost 16 hours," he said.

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