JOHOR BARU - The Immigration Department in Johor Baru has advised foreign motorists to comply with local rules and laws following an incident between a Singaporean couple and an officer at a checkpoint in the Malaysian state, the Malay Mail Online reported on Thursday (Feb 1).
The website reported that the department's passport control personnel had recently encountered incidents where Singaporean motorists refused to comply with instructions given by the immigration officers.
In some cases, the Singaporean motorists had been verbally abusive or made physical threats against the immigration personnel, the website said.
Another problem it had faced with Singaporean motorists was the use of mobile phones for videos and photographs, which is prohibited in any gazetted security checkpoints or Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) areas.
The department's director Rohaizi Bahari told the website all foreign motorists entering or exiting any of Malaysia's gazetted land checkpoints must comply with the instructions of the immigration officers and obey Malaysian laws.
"Basically, the foreign motorists should cooperate with Immigration Department officers manning the passport control counters to ensure a smooth and hassle free entry or exit," he was quoted saying.
Datuk Rohaizi noted that while his personnel will seek to be professional and courteous, visitors could be denied passage or even arrested if they refuse to comply with the instructions given by the officers.
In Tuesday's incident, a Singaporean couple heading home was arrested after they got into a scuffle at a passport control counter in the Sultan Iskandar Building's CIQ.
According to the report, the couple aged 30 and 24, had earlier been in an argument with a passport control counter officer, allegedly because they had thrown their passports at the officer twice in a rude manner.
The Johor Immigration Department has classified the case under Section 56(1)(g) of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 for obstructing an immigration officer from discharging passive duties.
About 20,000 Singapore-registered vehicles are estimated to cross into the two gazetted land checkpoints in the state at the Causeway and the Second Link daily.