JOHOR BARU — Johor’s Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi on Thursday (Dec 14) called for upgrading works at the Sultan Iskandar Building’s (BSI) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex to be postponed to avoid the peak period due to school holidays.
The month-long closure of several bus zone counters and electronic gates is slated to start on Friday, and will overlap with the coming Malaysian school holidays — which start on Dec 16 and end on Jan 1 next year.
The upgrading works are only expected to be completed by Jan 15.
“I have requested that these works be postponed until the end of the school holidays,” Mr Onn Hafiz said in a brief statement on his Facebook page on Thursday.
The CIQ’s Immigration Department had said in a statement earlier on Thursday that the upgrading works would comprise two phases, affecting various exit bus zone routes, manual counters and e-gate lanes.
The e-gate system at BSI and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) at the Second Link Crossing in Gelang Patah processes about 50,000 residents from Singapore who travel to and from Johor for social purposes daily.
The department also said that applications for the M-Bike automatic border control system facility, which facilitates over 60,000 Malaysian motorcyclists and their pillion riders who commute to Singapore for work each day, has been suspended until further notice.
It added that details regarding its re-opening will be issued at a later date.
Mr Onn Hafiz has sought to solve the massive congestion and easing travel procedures at both land border checkpoints in Johor.
This is despite the CIQ facilities at the BSI and at the KSAB in Iskandar Puteri being under the federal government’s jurisdiction.
The latest announcement of temporary closures to several bus zone counters, e-gate system, and the recently introduced Malaysian Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) counter starting Friday could derail the efforts made by Johor’s chief minister. MALAY MAIL