The new customs, immigration and quarantine ( CIQ) in Johor Bahru is a talking point for those who have used it. Many people have complained about this brand new gigantic structure. This new CIQ is known as the Sultan Iskandar CIQ and it has replaced the old CIQ which many of us have been so familiar with for many years.
The new Sultan Iskandar CIQ is supposed to resolve all the traffic jams and human jams associated with the old CIQ. Yes, the new CIQ is enormously huge. In fact this is the largest CIQ in Malaysia with an area of more than 200,000 sq. metres. However this giant CIQ did not resolve the issue of congestion and jams; which is the reason why so many people are complaining about it. I think one of the main problem lies in the road that is leading to the new CIQ. The road has only 2 lanes that curves around. This narrow road is shared by buses and cars heading towards the Johor Bahru CIQ. So during peak period, the congestion on the road starts after you leave the Singapore CIQ. Imagine the long queue of vehicles ahead of you, moving very slowly and it is a long wait ahead.
If you are travelling in a public bus, the bus will stop near the bay and you have to take the escalator up to the main custom building. This is where it gets to be interesting. Be prepare to start walking and walking just to reach the immigration counter. I have no complain on the immigration main hall. It is very huge and spacious. And I must add that there are many counters that are open, so the clearance is relatively smooth. Right afer you have cleared the customs, it is a start of another long walk again. ‘Keep walking’ seems to be main theme of the new CIQ. If you are wondering what is the fuss of walking, well there is no fuss if you are able and strong. It is tough going for young toddlers and senior citizens. jYou need to keep walking and make so many turns just to get out of this CIQ. I just wonder whether are the planner and architect of this CIQ compelling everyone of us to keep fit through a walking regime? But it is a cool and comfortable stroll as the airconditioned in this new building is strong.
How do I rate the new Sultan Iskandar CIQ. Well, I prefer it to the old CIQ which is hot and stuffy. I am sure that the Malaysian authorities should be able to figure out by now the narrow road which is the cause of the massive traffic congestion; and hopefully sort out this problem. They should also improved on the bus bays in the basement, which sometimes can get overcrowded. And if they can also shorten the ‘Long Walk’, that will be an added bonus to the people using this CIQ.