JOHOR BARU: The old Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at the Causeway will be reopened to pedestrians.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the decision was made at a recent Cabinet meeting and the Immigration Department would study the matter.
“I cannot give a definite date for the opening but it will be soon.
“We are looking into the logistics, including manpower for the counters at the old CIQ,” Syed Hamid told The Star yesterday.
He said the Government sympathised with the pedestrians, including workers, who were not allowed to walk across the 1km Causeway since the new CIQ in Bukit Chagar opened.
He hoped that business in the city would be rejuvenated with the reopening of the old CIQ.
Syed Hamid said feedback showed that the congestion problem at the new CIQ was improving.
Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad when contacted described the reopening of the old CIQ as timely and hoped that the Immigration Department would speed up the process.
“This is definitely good news for people including those commuting between Singapore and Malaysia as I have received a lot of complaints since the new CIQ opened, especially from those who have to walk a long distance to get to the city,” he said.
Malaysian Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said the move would be good for business.
“There will definitely be an increase in the number of people coming into the country as a lot of people walk between Malaysia and Singapore.
“In fact, a lot of Singaporeans take a leisurely walk to Johor Baru to have breakfast or lunch before walking back,” he said, adding that many shops were closed when the old CIQ ceased operations.
The opening of the new CIQ in December led to many complaints of congestion along the two-lane access road leading to the checkpoint and pedestrians had to walk a long way from the CIQ to get to town.
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