Stuck in a jam at Johor Bahru checkpoint? Officers surfing their mobile phones and reporting late for work could be the culprits

Officers reporting late for work and the lack of scanning machines have caused massive jams at Johor Bahru’s Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.
The Straits Times

The excruciatingly tormenting congestion that frequently plagues Johor Bahru’s Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex is allegedly the consequence of officers who report late for work and busy themselves with their mobile phones while on duty.

These complaints were among the feedback recently received by Mazlan Bujang, chairman of Johor Works, Infrastructure and Transport Committee, reported The Star on Monday (Jun 18).

The tardiness of officers which apparently resulted in some counters at the complex not opening on time and the prevalence of other disciplinary problems have prompted the formation of a special committee poised to investigate the issues.

CCTV cameras are also being considered for implementation by the authorities and may be installed at all immigration booths at the CIQ complex.

“These are all serious allegations on disciplinary issues. We need to improve the situation at the CIQ to ensure that we can help reduce congestion,” said Mazlan.

He also said there was “no point in playing the blame game”, highlighting that many agencies currently run operations at the complex.

The lack of CCTVs was called into question and Mazlan suggested the installation of more cameras to urgently boost security, adding that approximately RM90 million ($22.5 million) had to be reserved for the CIQ complex’s maintenance.

The Star had earlier reported the Johor Bahru and Second Link CIQ complexes as needing urgent revamps which include the addition of manpower, gantries, speed breakers and CCTVs.

Scanners that have become prone to breaking down and in turn worsen jams were also identified by the Customs Department as a problem in need of solution.

The lack of scanning machines at both CIQ complexes had in the past caused severe bottlenecks to be formed.

In February 2018, plans to create more lanes and open up those reserved for heavy vehicles to cars at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ complex were proposed by the authorities in an effort to ease traffic congestion, particularly during peak hours on the weekends.