Monday, December 01, 2008


The controversial Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex in Johor Bahru connecting into Singapore is finally going to have the opening ceremony. It was expected to be today, maybe after the noon period. Well, it is definitely a huge building/s compare to the present one. It looks very 'high-tech' but whether the real software of the building is functioning well is yet to be proven. Malaysia is always good at building expensive and huge stuffs but lack in maintenance.

The opening ceremony of this building has been rumoured many times this year. I guess now it is finally official since the press announced it. They said they will ask Tun Dr. Mahathir to officiate the opening ceremony of this building. I had the greatest laugh of my life. I told them the last person on earth who is willing to do that will be him. He is already so angry with the cancellation of his scenic bridge. According to the newspaper, the Sultan of Johor will do it on 1st December 2008 with the current prime minister.

We all know the reason for this building is not really to improve the immigration clearance but rather to be the entrance into the scenic bridge which was later not built. Let's face it, what's the point of having such a huge building when the entrance into the building and out of the building is so tight? There are only two lanes to enter and exit Singapore. The path which was originally created to serve the curved bridge was built for that purpose only. In other words, you are purposely creating a curvy path to join into the Causeway, creating more distance for no purpose.

The Singaporeans always complain how Malaysian roads are like bottles. They have a huge 4 lane highway which suddenly end up with just 2 lanes, purposely creating traffic jams. The current old immigration checkpoint has at least 4 lanes to enter it. The new building only has two to enter and two to exit. Please explain to me what is the use having a building that can serve 100 lanes even if the entrance and exit is so tight?

If that is not worse enough, they want to house 18 government agencies inside the place. Just great, the more traffic the more merrier. It is already so tight for all the traffic to go through it. You add more functions in the building to create more havoc.

I am quite nervous of the capability of this new building and from my past experience with how new things always turn out chaotic in Malaysia, I don't expect smooth flow of traffic with this new building. Prove me wrong then!

The Star

JOHOR BAHARU: The much awaited new Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Bukit Chagar will be officially opened on Monday.

The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar Sultan Ismail, is expected to grace the opening ceremony which is also to be attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Named the Sultan Iskandar Complex, it will house 18 government agencies and be able to handle 70 million visitors entering the country from Singapore annually.

Dubbed an intelligent building, the complex has 76 lanes for cars, which are divided equally to enter and exit the country. There are 50 lanes in and 50 lanes out for motorcycles, 879 parking bays for cars and 25 for buses.

The payment rates are expected to be the same as the rates charged at the present complex and only Touch n Go cards are allowed to be used for payment.

There are multilingual touch screen information display panels to assist visitors entering Johor.

The first floor of the complex will handle clearance for cars and motorcycles while the second floor is for those who travel in buses.

Construction of the CIQ began in 2001 and was scheduled to be completed in 2006.

It was, however, delayed due to the cancellation of the 'Scenic Bridge' project and the construction of the short-term access road linking the causeway and the complex. - Bernama


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