Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I will explain more after experiencing the gigantic building over a month. It will be a more fair analysis than just a few days of experiencing it. One thing to share regarding the walk ban is that it is going to give a lot of problems to the real users of the immigration checkpoint everyday than those people who sit at the top and just give out bans to their hearts' content. They build the building so huge that you need to walk an extra 100 times the distance than the original one. I really pity those pregnant ladies and the old folks. They will be extremely tired before even crossing the border.

The old immigration was not able to take the huge volume of traffic and that's why many people chose to walk back then. Nobody enjoys walking unless you are a health / sports freak but with the smelly dead water, really bad air loaded with vehicle smoke and super hot sun, you only do it if the traffic is really bad. The new immigration only has two lanes exiting and entering it no matter how much money they pour into it to build it bigger than the Singapore immigration. It is slowing down the traffic even more because of the curving tight roads into and out of the building.

The buses take more time to enter and exit it. The human traffic which are forced to take the bus overloads the waiting area massively. I can easily take a photo or two to show you the real state of sorry situation inside that huge building. Everyone wants to get over on time so the fight over the very limited places in the public buses and the Bas Kilang is causing a lot of problem to the users. You have to fight for a place in the bus and only the toughest will survive. I had rugby training so I can still manage so far but I really pity those who are pregnant, the ladies and the old folks. The experience of exiting the new immigration building is like THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST! The Survivor / Amazing Race series should consider having the task of exiting this immigration building during the peak hours as one of the tests.

AsiaOne Forum

Confusion over Causeway walk ban

SINGAPORE, Jan 7 — People are no longer allowed to walk between the Singapore and Malaysia checkpoints at the Causeway, but there seems to be some confusion about the new rule.

The ban was implemented by Malaysia after the opening of the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex, which is about 500m further up the road from the old complex.

Johor state immigration director Mohd Nasri Ishak told The Straits Times yesterday that walking on the Causeway — from both directions — was not permitted.

But Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said it was not aware of the rule and its officers do not stop people who opt to walk.

Mohd Nasri said that although the law is already in place, it has yet to be enforced but it will be soon.

He did not give a specific date when enforcement will begin.

Security, police and immigration officers at the Malaysian checkpoint verbally inform those who pass through the complex about the new ruling, he added.

Mohd Nasri explained that as the new complex was built for security reasons, people are not allowed to walk in unless they arrived in a vehicle.

“The government doesn't want just anyone to walk into the building,” he said.

Mohd Nasri also pointed out that the roads at the checkpoint were not designed for walking as they have no walkways. “The public should realise that walking to the new complex is very dangerous,” he said.

Malaysia's ban on walking on the Causeway has resulted in many Malaysians being stranded at the Singapore checkpoint during massive jams along the Causeway, The Star newspaper reported earlier this week.

Prior to the ban, people were able to walk across to the old Malaysian checkpoint when there was a lack of buses during the peak periods. It took about 15 minutes to walk between the two sides.

However when the new checkpoint opened, people on the Malaysian side found that they could not walk across, and this resulted in ugly scenes as people fought their way to board buses at the new CIQ complex.

When contacted, SBS Transit's vice-president of corporate communications Tammy Tan said ridership in general has remained fairly constant.

But an SMRT spokesman said that the company has observed a general increase in passengers using its bus service 950, but did not give exact figures.

Malaysian Ng Wee Chin, a 22-year-old deliveryman who works in Singapore, said: “I'm not walking over to Singapore from the new checkpoint because it's too far and dangerous.”

His sentiments were echoed by Singapore Institute of Management student Hau Siow Hoon.

The 22-year-old Malaysian has not taken the walk from the new checkpoint to Singapore and she does not intend to try.

“Even the distance between the old checkpoint and the Singapore checkpoint is too far for me,” said Hau.

She added that the narrow roads and the lack of a walkway made it dangerous for pedestrians. — The Straits Times


CIQ teething woes to go up before the cabinet

JOHOR BARU: The problems pla­guing the new Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex will be brought to the attention of the Cabinet this week.

Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad said that after the discussion at Cabinet level he hoped to visit the site this month to see how the problems could be tackled.

“I have been receiving complaints, and I am aware of the unhappiness,” he said yesterday.

Among the grouses raised by the public are narrow roads, long queues at the complex, poor signage, traffic congestion, and dirty toilets.

The people have also complained about not being allowed to walk across the Causeway, while business owners have said the new complex had taken their customers away as travellers now bypass the city centre where they are located.

Vandals have also struck at the complex less than a month after its opening, cutting holes in a perimeter fence and posing a possible security breach.

One of those who are unhappy with the complex, Malaysian Indian Business Council president P. Sivakumar, described the new complex as a nightmare for travellers.

“Last week, five businesses including two moneychangers and a restaurant had to close down. We expect the situation to worsen,” he said, adding that the complex was badly designed.

Sivakumar suggested that the old complex be reopened for motorcyclists and pedestrians. This would bring 5,000 to 10,000 travellers into the city again, he said.

Johor Immigration Director Mohd Nasri Ishak said the problems raised were similar to glitches experienced at the old complex located near the Causeway, and he was confident the problems would be overcome soon.

“Everyone must adjust to the new complex. The situation will eventually stabilise,” he said.

Meanwhile, Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Zainuddin Yaakob said the police had not received any reports about the complex.

He added that he was not aware that the perimeter fencing around the complex had been vandalised.


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