JOHOR BARU, 19 Jan 2009: The Sultan Iskandar Building, which houses the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) centre, should be integrated with the Johor Baru city centre for the benefit of the complex users and traders in the city centre.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said six proposals had been drawn up to be submitted to the cabinet for consideration, to improve the CIQ complex to make it more user-friendly.
Shahrir had visited the CIQ complex with the Works Ministry’s deputy secretary-general Nasir Md Dam and Public Works Department director-general Datuk Seri Prof Dr Judin Abdul Karim this morning.
He was later met by reporters after launching the donation drive for the Palestinian Humanitarian Fund here organised by the Larkin Terminal Traders and Tenants Association.
Shahrir said among the proposals was having Customs and Immigration inspection counters at the old CIQ site in Jalan Tun Razak and at JB Sentral.
The Customs/Immigration counters at the old CIQ complex will be able to serve pedestrians moving between JB and Singapore, while the counters at JB Sentral should be for those using private or public transport and not entering Singapore, so that they will not have to walk far to the counters at the new CIQ complex.
Shahrir, who is also Johor Baru MP, said it was also proposed that the development of JB Sentral, which had not been completed, should complement the City Square shopping centre and Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak.
He said this was to make JB Sentral, which would be an integrated public transport hub, incorporating rail, taxi and bus services, a part of the city folk’s daily life.
Another proposal is that stage buses, taxis and other public transport vehicles be allowed to enter the parking area in front of the Sultan Iskandar Building.
Shahrir said an alternative road should also be built for vehicles coming from Singapore and wanting to enter the city centre so that the city centre would not be deserted and affect the business of traders there.
“The new CIQ complex is aimed at preventing traffic congestion outside the city but at the same time, we must also facilitate travel into the city centre,” he said.
On another matter, Shahrir said the task of managing JB Sentrals’ business area would be tendered out to those interested. — Bernama