JOHOR BARU • The Johor state government will call on Malaysia's federal government to upgrade the Sultan Abu Bakar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex at Tanjung Kupang, across from Tuas, claiming that it is inadequate for the volume of visitors using it and is attracting complaints from tourists about the shoddy standard of its facilities.
The building has not been upgraded since it opened in 1998.
State Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Tee Siew Kiong said the proposal to improve the complex is aimed at accommodating the increased number of visitors using the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link. He said that as of August, the complex had recorded 17.1 million visitors this year and he expected the number of visitors this year to increase by 25 per cent. He added that the number of Chinese tourists is expected to be high this month due to a holiday season in China.
Datuk Tee's proposal says that the upgrading is essential as the structure of the building is no longer up to dealing with the growing number of visitors and has fallen into disrepair in places, such as the drop-off point for bus passengers.
The minister said many tourists have also complained that toilets were not available near where they queue for immigration checks, but were available only after the immigration counters, causing attempts to cut immigration queues, according to the New Straits Times. He told the newspaper that providing extra toilets would be a short-term measure that would offer some comfort to users.
The minister inspected the complex on Monday and told reporters that the refurbishment is important to enhance the services of the Immigration Department, especially during peak hours.
"We will hold a meeting with several agencies, including Johor tourism bodies, the Immigration Department and non-governmental organisations, in the next two weeks to conduct a study of the building structure and to come up with a draft proposal for the upgrading," he said.