SINGAPORE: Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar has asked for the lighting at Johor Bahru's Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at Bangunan Sultan Baginda (BSI) to be improved "immediately" in order to ensure the safety of road users.
The Johor Royal Press Office said in a statement on the sultan’s official Facebook page on Wednesday (Dec 18) that the sultan has requested for a meeting with various departments and enforcement agencies working at the complex, including BSI’s management, as soon as possible.
This is to address several issues at the CIQ, including the frequency of fire drills and safety patrols.
“Are there enough toilets (and) in terms of medical treatment, how would it be during emergencies … If vehicles are on fire, will there be enough forces from the safety team?" he said.
“Do not take these issues lightly as it involves thousands that commute to Singapore every day.”
CONGESTION, DISCIPLINARY ISSUES
Johor's CIQ has been criticised over congestion and disciplinary issues.
More than 300,000 Malaysians travel across the Johor-Singapore Causeway every day, making it one of the busiest overland border crossings in the region.
Officials have estimated that about 145,000 vehicles pass through the Johor CIQ complex daily.
Last year, Johor said that it was looking to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and conduct on-the-ground spot checks after reports from local media highlighted disciplinary issues surrounding immigration officers.
Reports have been made of officers playing games or watching movies on their mobile phones, even during peak hours when the congestion is bad. Some officers also frequently turn up late for work, resulting in some immigration counters not opening on time.
Mazlan Bujang, then chairman of the state's Works, Infrastructure and Transport Committee, called the allegations “serious”, and pledged to improve the situation and reduce congestion.
In an interview with CNA on Jun 20 last year, Mr Mazlan said that it was important the state government implemented a "good monitoring system" to ensure officers worked efficiently.
UPGRADES TO CIQ
The Malaysian government in its budget speech in October announced a RM85 million investment to address congestion at the Causeway and Second Link.
Delivering the budget speech, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng also said that an additional 50 counters will be opened for motorcyclists and that processes will be streamlined at immigration counters.