Mini CIQ for pedestrians in JB to start next year

April 12, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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Farik Zolkepli
The Star

Construction of the proposed mini Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex for pedestrians in Johor Baru, is expected to start by next year, says Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad.

He said the discussions between Home Ministry officials, state non-governmental organisations, the police, state assemblymen in Johor Baru as well as city councillors were showing positive signs of implementing the project.

“The technical details will be solved by this year. Realistically, the project is expected to start by early next year,” he said.

Shahrir said that close-door discussions, which had been held three times, were chaired by Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam and among those in attendance were himself and the Inspector-general of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

“In the latest meeting, the IGP (Musa) had concluded that the mini-CIQ would not pose any security threat to the state or the country.

“We are optimistic that the project will get underway after ironing some technical issues,” he said. Saturday.

Speaking to reporters Saturday after the latest meeting, Shahrir said that among the technical issues was the issue of land near the Causeway, which was owned by the state government, the size and design of the complex, cost of the project as well as whether the complex would cater to both inbound and outbound traffic.

He added that the proposed mini-CIQ for pedestrians was first brought up in 2008 after the new CIQ was first opened after members of the public complained about traffic congestion and lack of facilities for pedestrians.

“The majority of Johoreans people and businesses want this facility (mini-CIQ).

“Such a facility can also revive the businesses in Johor Baru city centre, which has taken a drastic hit since the new CIQ opened as traffic to and from Singapore no longer flowed there,” he said, adding that, presently, traffic via the new CIQ flowed to the Stulang area.

Shahrir said that the mini-CIQ would be conveniet for pedestrians travelling to and from Singapore via the Causeway.

“The government has shown great commitment in making this proposal a reality.

“The plight of the people, especially pedestrians must be taken care of,” he said.

Currently, public transport commuters leave the CIQ through Johor Baru Central and City Square, requiring a long walk to the nearest bus stop.

In Jan last year, Shahrir, who was the then Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs minister, had proposed utilising the old CIQ for pedestrian traffic, which could be the solution to the long walk public transport users had to endure at the new CIQ.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/4/10/nation/20100410143847&sec=nation