JOHOR BARU: Travellers between Malaysia and Singapore were surprised that electricity was cut off at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ), which is one of the world’s busiest land crossings.
A technician, who wanted to be known as Ahmad Faiz, 39, said he just returned from work in Singapore at 10pm on Tuesday and saw it was pitch black at the arrival area in BSI.
“There was no electricity at all. Several auxiliary police and Rela personnel helped to show us the way as.
“There were also long lines at the pedestrian lanes where it usually took me a few minutes to clear.
“It took me almost 30 minutes to clear immigration,” he said here yesterday.
Malaysian Tourist Guides Council president Jimmy Leong said the power disruption should not have happened, adding that a strong backup power system should be in place.
“This problem has inconvenienced many people, including visitors to our country,” he added.
Leong said as this is the first time that this power cut had happened at the CIQ, the impact would be minimal.
However, he warned that the country’s image would be affected if the incident happens again.
In a notice by Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), it stated that power disruption will happen in areas such as Gerbang Perdana power processing unit (PPU) substation, BSI, CIQ and JB Sentral due to maintenance work from 8pm on Tuesday to 4am yesterday.
Johor Immigration Department director Baharuddin Tahir said power supply at BSI CIQ had returned to normal.
He said staff of agencies located inside the building were inspecting their electrical systems after the power disruption.
During the disruption, officers and personnel at Immigration counters inside BSI had to carry out clearance work manually.
“Due to the power supply disruption at the Immigration counters, there was congestion, especially at the motorcycle and bus lanes at BSI CIQ,” he said.
State works, transportation, and infrastructure committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh said the blackout was due to the malfunctioning of one of the generators in the premises.
He added the complex was receiving electricity supply from a single source and was relying on seven generators for backup.
He said the pedestrian hall at the CIQ suffered a blackout yesterday morning due to maintenance works being undertaken by TNB.
“When the works started, the seven generator sets were working well.
“One of them broke down at about 11pm, resulting in a ‘total shutdown’ at 2am.
“Electricity supply was restored at 9.30am,” he said.
He added the CIQ had activated contra lane to ensure a smooth flow for travellers.
Following the power disruption, Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi instructed TNB and Public Works Department to resolve the issue.
“What has happened has been very troublesome for commuters and an embarrassment to the state,” he said in a Facebook post.