JOHOR BARU: The state immigration department is beefing up its numbers at the two land crossings into Singapore after criticism that the immigration booths are not open especially during peak hours.
Additional manpower from other parts of the state and the headquarters is being deployed at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex (CIQ) and Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ complex at the Second Link.
Besides the bigger deployment, leave for almost 1,700 officers at these two locations has been frozen to ensure adequate manpower at the counters.
The CIQ in Johor Baru is currently manned by about 1,200 officers and there are 500 at the Second Link.
Previously, all the booths could not be opened due to staff shortage, those on medical leave and those taking their off days.
Johor immigration director Rohaizi Ibrahim, when contacted, said the new measures were taken from early this month.
“We are taking these measures as the immigration department is among the agencies being blamed for the congestion at the CIQs.
“Now we are opening almost all the counters all the time. My men are doing their best to provide good service to the people,” he said , adding that he was monitoring this on a daily basis.
He said the traffic situation had improved but there were also other factors that contributed to the congestion.
“We know that these two connections into Singapore are important for our economy and my men will do their best to ensure good service,” he said, adding that both the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin were also concerned.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar recently urged the department to keep all the booths open always as there were complaints that many of the booths were not open during peak hours and holidays.
The Ruler said he felt sorry for the thousands of Malaysians and Singaporeans who were stuck in traffic jams at the Causeway due to congestion, especially during holidays and the festive season.
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