JOHOR BARU, 16 Dec 2008: The Bangunan Sultan Iskandar which houses the new Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex here, today opened its doors, only to be greeted with long queues and traffic confusion.
There were scenes of motorists reduced to bumper-to-bumper crawls at the complex, especially when clearing the toll collection booths.
The scenario at the entry point to Singapore was no better, either.
However, Johor Immigration Department chief Mohd Nasri Ishak put it down to a case of learning to adapt to a new situation.
“We have just opened our doors wide and motorists need a bit of time to get used to the situation.
“Given time, I am confident things will be smoother at the new CIQ,” he said.
A spokesperson for the CIQ, which began operations at 12.01 on Monday morning, said the long queues of motorists coming into the city was because of their failure to use the Touch ‘N Go card as payment for their toll.
Another point of contention for the motorists is the way the entry point into the Inner Ring Road leading to the CIQ, was constructed.
“Well, to a certain degree, I have to agree. There is a bottle-neck situation as motorists get into the Inner Ring Road leading to the Immigration booth at the CIQ for their passport clearance into Singapore.
“But the trouble is that most of the motorists are probably not aware that there are more than 30 immigration counters which are opened today. It’s like a fish bone where the counters are evenly spread out.
“However, motorists only want to go to the nearest counter and therefore, refuse to move forward to the vacant counters elsewhere. This will cause a jam,” said Mohd Nasri.
He said people need to get used to the situation and will learn to adapt. — Bernama