Every festive season, especially when coupled with a school holiday, you can bet that the entry and exit points in Malaysia will be congested as people travel in and out of the country. The Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Johor Bahru is undoubtedly one of Malaysia’s busiest entry and exit points.
Anyone who has used that checkpoint would know that it is notorious as one of the most congested points and can typically take hours just to clear immigration. Now, Johor Works, Infrastructure and Transport committee chairman Mazlan Bujang says that they may know exactly why there is so much congestion here.
Apparently, he had received feedback from several parties in the CIQ’s management when he visited the place last week and most of the problems are allegedly caused by the officers themselves.
Berita Harian reported that there have been serious disciplinary allegations about the immigration officers as they were said to be playing with their phones while on duty or being late for work, which means the counters were not open on time. Some of us may even have seen it happening before!
In response to this, Mazlan said that he will set up a special committee with Stulang assemblyman Andrew Chen Kah Eng to improve the CIQ’s operations. Yes, they really need to make improvements!
He said, “These are all serious allegations on disciplinary issues where some of the CIQ staff would be late in opening their counters while we also received reports that some of them would be playing with their smartphones while on duty, which are some of the reasons why the CIQ is so congested.”
“We need to improve the situation at the CIQ to ensure that we can help reduce congestion that has been the source of complaint for so many people. And, there is no point in playing the blame game as many agencies operate at the CIQ,” he added.
Mazlan said that they are thinking of putting CCTVs at all Immigrations counters at the CIQ, not only to monitor the officers but also for security reasons. Some of the issues highlighted to him was the need to have more manpower, gantries, speed breakers and CCTVs.
There are a lot of improvements that need to be done at the CIQ, including the Customs Department itself as they do not have sufficient scanning machines at both the CIQs. These scanners are also unreliable as they often break down and subsequently cause jams. Mazlan said that they will be working hard to ensure that the congestion at the CIQs are solved.
Hopefully the terrible congestion at the CIQs can really be solved. This will make travelling to and fro from Singapore to Johor Bahru much more pleasant!
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