Congestion at Johor checkpoints will hurt tourism, says tour guides association

JOHOR BARU: The continued congestion at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) and Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) in Johor will hamper the state's efforts to become an attractive destination, says Malaysian Tourist Guides Council (MTGC).

"The congestion at BSI and KSAB is a major obstacle to facilitating tourists, visitors, investors as well as the locals to a smooth entry and exit, in and out of Johor," said MTGC president Jimmy Leong in a statement here on Sunday (March 31).

"It directly erodes investor confidence and slows down progress and development in the state," he said.

He added there had been numerous attempts to solve the border congestion but still there was not much progress.

However, Leong felt it was wrong for certain parties to blame Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi for the problem.

Leong said the frequent visit made by Onn Hafiz to both BSI and KSAB has led to faster clearances over the period that had improved tremendously.

"What choice does Onn Hafiz have? When these problems are raised by locals it seems to fall on deaf ears.

"What our Mentri Besar is advocating is clearance efficiency with the maximum counters at the checkpoints operating," he added.

Leong urged all sides to show a positive attitude in solving the problem rather than wrongly pointing fingers at the Johor Mentri Besar.

Onn Hafiz expressed his disappointment last Sunday (March 24) in a Facebook post when 13 counters on the Malaysian side of the Causeway remained closed to the public, causing congestion the day before.

On Wednesday (March 27), Immigration Services Union of Peninsular Malaysia Ajeet Singh Gurbax Singh praised the efforts of Onn Hafiz, who often made field visits to the BSI here and the KSAB in Iskandar Puteri.

However, he said, Onn Hafiz needed to focus on people’s issues, especially those involving the B40 group.

Meanwhile, Cuepacs secretary-general Abdul Rahman Mohd Nordin urged that any moves to reprimand to civil servants be issued cautiously and not overly publicised on social media.

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