Friday, December 19, 2008

Spanking New CIQ Johor Bahru?

Ater 41 years of being in operation, the Malaysia-Singapore Causeway checkpoint finally closed its doors at 12.01am on 15 Dec. All activities and its operations moved to the spanking new Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.

The immigration department director said that “traffic was at a slight crawl as there were some technical difficulties. All immigration personnel have been moved to the new complex, and we expect the new complex will reduce traffic congestion."

But since, the Star letters page have been flooded with non-stop complaints. I'm sure they have received much more rude letters which can't actually be printed as well from commuters. Check out letters "Chaos at new CIQ Complex", "No excuse for chaos" and "Pedestrians have it tough".

And 'Suffered Man' wrote to me to describe the complete failure by the traffic and engineering consultants at the CIQ.

Hi Tony,

I am one of the few hundred thousands of people travelling everyday to work in Singapore. The new CIQ that was operated fully since Tuesday, 16th Dec. have caused a disaster to us.

I feel very very disappointed because our stupid government never study properly on whole building design. The roads lead to the checkpoint are very narrow (2 lines). So it causea bottleneck at checkpoint. Imagine the mouth is so big but the stomach is so small. The traffic at the entrance is so massive but inner ring roads are only two lanes.

Malaysia boleh?  Pic courtesy of The Star Gallery

How do they going to solve this problem? The roads have been built, and seem like there are no ways to expand it. Did they survey properly on the traffic flow before building this CIQ? I think probably NO.

I just think that we are earning foreign currency and brining back to Malaysia to spend, more or less has been helping local economy to go on. We love our country. But did country loves too? What has this stupid government done to us? Those VIP & VVIP come down JB and have a grant opening for CIQ, then left silently without taking care of our suffer here after this.

Please help us to question them in Parliment, how are they going to solve this problems??? If not those VIP & VVIP will 'buat tak tau' and never solve this problem at all.

If you go back to your hometown (Batu Pahat), kindly do pay a visit to this 'luxurious' CIQ.

Your help is much highly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Suffered Man from JB


Anonymous said...

The officials in BolehLand think Singaporeans visit JB/M'sia push up the prices. They think that M'sians working in S'pore are traitors - have to punish them.

Hmm, everytime I travel from S'pore to JB via the causway - I feel like "teleported" from a First World country to a Third World country (as a M'sian - I really feel ashamed).

Anonymous said...

YB Tony

Dr M mentioned in his blog that the crooked bridge should solve the traffic/human jam at the causeway, something I find it hilarious. Imagine a crooked bridge were to be built on the Johor side with Singapore retaining the orginal one, the traffic pile-up especially during peak hours will still overspill over to the crooked side and into the immigration terminal slowly but surely. The Malaysian government (no thanks to Dr M administration) should have a fruitful discussion with SIN side so that a whole new bridge is being built, instead of blaming SIN for their own doings. I am a Singaporean, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Do some googling and found this from Chedet.

Didn't quite follow the whole story. Who's reponsible ?

P/S: YB Tony, what's your view on privatisation of IJN to Sime Darby.

Anonymous said...

I drive to Spore quite often for work and play and I just dread the idea of such inconvenience ...

Ooi Beng Hooi said...

How serious is the congestion?

Read this reported by one of the Singapore newspapers

MALAYSIAN police were called in on Thursday to keep crowds in check at the new Johor checkpoint as chaos reigned. Thousands of Malaysian bus commuters pushed, shoved and beat on bus doors, trying to get a seat on a bus travelling to Singapore.

Police arrived at 8.30am to assist immigration officers and SBS Transit staff in herding the crowd into bus queues. At the former Johor terminal, Singapore-bound commuters just walked through a single-storey facility to get to their buses.The towering Sultan Iskandar complex however, has commuters climbing to the third storey for immigration clearance, a trip which takes about 10 minutes.

Immigration clearance takes less than a minute, but commuters hit a bottleneck when they get to the bus depot as there are not enough buses to move the number of commuters.The option of walking across the Causeway, which was possible at the old terminal, has gone so more people rely on buses to cross over to Singapore.

Ooi Beng Hooi said...

more about the congestion reported by Singapore Straits Times at

cinasami said...

Firstly I am making a comment based on the photo in the blog.Facts may make me stand corrected.
I believe the JB CIQ was contructed based on the design of a crooked brigde hence the odd shaped cruve on the road. With the scrapping of the crooked bridge there was no way the authorities had enough space judging from the picture to make a bigger and straighter road without going into the Straits.
I can only conclude that modifications to the original design was not possible.

Anonymous said...

The Penang Bridge is also very congested and the ferry service is no faster. Can Lim Guan Eng build a new bridge in Penang? I'm sure with all the power vested in him as the CM he can get a loan for Penang and build a bridge and start to collect toll to finance it off. Don't give excuses like money not enough. I thought the DAP have the 'can do' spirit.

Some say that this is the federal govt's responsibility. I think the DAP can do better. Be the responsible lot and build it. Don't pass the buck like the BN.

On another note, how come PAS protested on the i-dance comp? DAP should have thrashed the issue out with PAS before allowing them to protest. I thought you guys are united. tsk.

Anonymous said...

A bit out of topic...about fuel the gov really subsidising us rakyat? e.g. i have gathered that diesel price at the pump is the same as industry. so, what subsidy? if gov tax sales of fuel, then we the consumer is paying tax for it. so, who is subsidising who now? besides that, if there is no subsidy then say so - don't tell the rakyat gov is subsidising fuel prices when it does not exist. that's lying.

Anonymous said...

Dear people,
This time, I have to comment positively on this matter. I remember years ago when Singapore CIQ is openned, there is also traffic jam. Big news clippings day after day where people complain about the jams
Of course, it's because of Singapore authorities of handling too thoroughly that it prolong the jam.
Perhaps, malaysia government can learn from Singapore how to resolve this issue. I hope that the authority can do it fast. I can accept the present situation for now.
However, Malaysia government chose to do nothing. Then, that would be extremely sad. Same goes to Singapore CIQ at Woodlands. Hmm.....Job lost......Bring in the NSmen man.....If it's the cost concern. Have staggered lunch, breakfast and dinner break. At times, Singapore CIQ is just as bad.

Righto Collin.


Still residing in Singapore since 1993 with a 2 year break in UK.

OTL said...

YB Tony,

Haha... New CIO bring problems to the users... Recently I msn with my friend who stay at JB and working at Singapore, is keep on complain that the CIQ is very useless.

Perhaps what looes74 said is true, how long will Malaysia CIQ can resolve the current problems? What is the actual problems? If it is bottle neck, how to resolve, are they doing their work?

By the way today is the 5th day for the new CIQ, how was the traffic there? Users for the new CIQ please give some comment.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Looes74

I totally agreed with you that SIN side has been causing jam of sorts after the disappearance of one important fugitive in Feb this year, totally unbelievable but it's a fact. Johor side has been smooth sailing until the switch to the new terminal. The workers and students are the worst affected, hope it will be resolved soon.

Anonymous said...


You probably aware of this but will just pass a general comment nonetheless.

The success of an infrastructure project (or any other type of project for that matter) depends 90% on the competency of the team running the project. The other 10% is luck - or as Samy and Ka Chuan said "act of God".

By team competency I mean the brains and experience behind the team. And the order of brain power for an infra or building project is : engineer (or architect), project manager, owner and contractor.

In the Malaysian context, especially public projects, engineers (or architects) or project managers who are best suited for the project are sometimes not engaged. Sometimes it is the ones with the connections. In the private sector it is usually the cheapest.

Similarly, owners make decisions based on political or cost considerations. This is in contrast to making a technically driven decision.

So when you get advisors who don't know their stuff, or owners making all the wrong decisions, you don't get the best results.

This is attested by the many messed up projects that, unfortunately, will go on exacting a real cost (time & petrol) from us. Example - Kerinchi Link - ever wonder why there is congestion on the Federal Hwy towards Klang is always in front of Angkasapuri?

Take away - when it comes to a knowledge product, best select a planning and implementation team based on merit.

For the record, the proposed crooked bridge is a crooked joke. I do not believe that there isn't a better technical solution.

Anonymous said...

Traffic was a slight carwl?
Understatement of the year!

The UKs Leading PUA Forum

Anonymous said...

This CIQ was meant for the infamous crooked bridge. Now, there is no bridge. What to do with the CIQ?

CIQ should not have been built until the bridge construction has started.
Now CIQ is build and some made the money. Forget about the bridge.

Let the public suffer. No longer my problem. Hey.This Malaysia. What do you expect.

Anonymous said...

I was at this new CIQ last Sunday. Our goverment is really capable of making our lives tougher than it already is. From a 5 mins walk from CS to checkpoint, to a 20 mins walk. I at first was thinking, "Ah.. there gotta be some gives and takes, they are expanding the building and trying to make it look comparable to Singapore's. Why don't i just bear with it, say for the sake of patriotism". Hm... lots of escalators, clean, nice looking. Custom clearance went pretty smoothly. I was still in good mood right before i went down to bus bay. When i got there, my shouted oh my fucking lord. Only 2 bays catered for buses 170/160 even though 80% of the crowd was queuing for 160/170, it was so damn crowded that i did not even know where the queue started from nor ended with. I asked the officer, he said he did not know and walked off (what would a tourist think about an officer not being helpful?). So i tried with all my might to squeeze thru the crowd and managed to line up in ONE of the QUEUES. Though i was losing patience after queuing for about 1 hour (Gosh, from a 15 mins bus waiting time to an one hour plus, Malaysia Boleh!), the queuing area was "spacious" coz everyone occupied the bays for buses other than 170/160 (those bays were actually meant for tourist buses and bus kilang). Oh my fucking lord, do i have other options? NO ! Coz our Bolehland goverment strangled my ONE and ONLY option - walking, to death alive ! and YET, the worst had yet come while i was cursing and swearing. After 1 hour plus, i was getting closer to the embarking bay and the space was closing up (losy building structure, no study was done obviously), i was sandwitched in the crowd. I did not even have to move forward by myself coz ppl around me would help me move along the queues by sandwitching me despite of my ceaseless moaning and cursing (Seriously i did not know if i was still in any queques). I could hardly breathe. I did not know where my legs and arms were. The only part of my body which i could still move was my head. It went pretty choatic, people were squeezing or people swamped out of nowhere trying to get ahead of everyone else. After around 1.5 hours, i managed to get on the bus. The nightmare was not over YET !!! The bus was so crowded that i did not have any handles/places to grab onto. Our beloved goverment must have planned a roller coaster ride for the tourists to add extra fun to their journey. I was so pathetic, there were so many sharp turns, my body could not help hold still that i had to lean on pessengers on my both sides (hey i mean intimate leaning, real close up that i could tell what that person had eaten that night). Our bolehland government must have been living to comfortably that they are too far away from knowing how our, civilians', lives actually are. We do not have escort, we do not have money to buy mercedes benz, we do not have chauffeur, we do not have special lanes opened for our personal use. Thank you Malaysia for making my life so much harder than it already is. It must be a great plan from Bolehland goverment, to push us away from Malaysia, or to make us stay in JB living on RM2000 per month while expenses per meal are at least RM5 (RM5*3*30 = that's quarter of monthly income, after deducting car loan(can i depend on public transport???), housing loan, daily accesories, am i left with any money to give to my aging parents ??????????????). Great plan, push us away to live comfortably in Singapore or make us stay in JB to live in place that does not seem safe and promising to be a home.

Anonymous said...

By the way, for those who demanded actions from LGE, be realistic. They have 300 Million SGD in revenue every year

A bridge cost 5 Billion SGD.

Why not consider implementing ERP in Penang. I believe Collin would agree with me

Introduce CBD/ERP in Heritage area.
Intriduce ERP in congested areas

That will do the trick


Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

I have not been hearing from either opposition or you raised this CIQ issue in the parliment. is our concern heard? What's the use of discussing or opposing hudud law, I tell you what, this is no longer the issue of chinese community, what we most concern is bread & butter issue. If we can have a comfortable life and safe environment, who cares abt whether there is hudud law? Pls tell LKS & rest of the DAP old folks to concentrate on economy issues instead of fighting for this unnessary issue which chinese community would not have any feel abt it. We are really suffering like bolehland civilian said... Let's get all ur resource to support PAS in TK as to send a strong message to BN that we need change and to change fast!!! Pls channel our frustration to LKS or Karpal that if next time they want to raise this unnecessity stuff, think about the ppl who dont even know whether tomorrow we have enough money to spend on necessity stuff. What say you Phua?? which is more important?? Ask Karpal as well... he shows no concern abt ppl from south, I dont think he ever step in johor and try understanding the ppl here by raising our concern in the parliament. Never!!!

Mark Chan - JB

Terrence said...

i am one of the many commuters. can i request the government to rebuild our custom????
it is a completely stupid design.

is there any countries in the world waste money like us ??? tell me which country. i would like to know.

DAP, go go go ~~~ we wait for your reform.

else, we are monkeys ten years later.

Anonymous said...

From the various comments/complaints on the new CIQ, many of them, i find, are complaints for the sake of complaining.

My first impression of the new CIQ is rather similar to the view of the article, that is, 2 lanes on each side of the road is not enough. What is worse for the bus commuters is that when there is a traffic jam, the only bus lane is occupied by the cars.

I believe only 2 lanes are built for each side of the road is due to space constraints. What a lot of complaints do not realize is that, there is no way to build a road, be it 4 lanes or 5 lanes, that can solve the traffic jam during peak period. The only way to solve the traffic jam at checkpoints is to open up more counters during peak period and improve the speed of clearance, which the new CIQ is definitely better equipped than the old one.

Some comments claim that JB people are suffering because the duration of traveling from old checkpoint to Singapore used to be 15 mins (by walking), but due to the walking time inside the new big CIQ and the restriction to travel by bus only has make the whole journey much longer. I beg to differ on the suffering part. What these people do not realize is that the new CIQ is not built for the frequent commuters only. It is Malaysia's gateway to welcome the international tourists from Singapore. They are entitled to have a systematic way of custom clearance which the new CIQ can provide better than the old one. Not only would a systematic custom clearance benefit the tourists, it will also benefit the disabled, the elders and people like me who do not like to jam, squeeze and be pushed near the 170/160 bus door just to board the bus.

My only request to the authority is that, limit the bus lane to bus only and enforce it strictly so that the bus journey is not unnecessarily delayed or extended.

Lastly, if there is any government building/project which I benefit directly and frequently, it would not be KLIA nor N-S highway but this new CIQ.

Anonymous said...

Well i believe that above mention are very true. As of Jan 17'09 was my 1st trip to Sg and also using the new CIQ. It was a nightmare for me. When entering Malaysia via the causeway it was like 4 lanes squeeze to 2 lanes and both buses, cars and bike are using that 2 lanes into the CIQ...what happens if one of the vehicles broke down? does the engineer of the new CIQ thinks of this at all? Am really feeling disappointed with it and there goes all our tax payer money...haiz

Anonymous said...

while many are criticising the Malaysian CIQ I wish to highlight the crawls at Woodlands CIQ that have been going on for years and is mainly because the access roads into the CIQ from the BKE and Woodlands Town are narrow. If Singapore can have atleast 2 additional lanes for cars that will end all the bottleneck in Woodlands and let other vechicles particularly buses not to be delayed by the jams. On the Malaysian side I think after so many years the government has made a serious blunder particularly by letting all the traffic bypass the city centre they have killed the economy.There never was traffic jams in JB due to vehicles entering from Singapore only those leaving JB.The damage has already been done now but if the Msian Govt is brilliant enough to clinch a deal to build a new bridge with Singapore they should go for a very wide (8 lanes with scope for future expansion) bridge and it should be built from Woodlands to the Stulang Jetty instead of the current location (a longer bridge with fairly high clearance) and convert the Inner Ring Road from Stulang to the CIQ as part of the new bridge. Traffic flow in the CIQ is reversed and after clearing CIQ it can proceed out to JB Sentral and directly enters the city centre. I consider this to be a win win situation provided Malaysia and Singapore can really strike a deal. It would be even convenient for bus users and everyone else. Lorries could be directed into the complex via a different entry point

Julia C said...

I'm a student who's starting school soon and today, I had to go in to settle some urgent matters until I it slipped from my mind that it was good friday. the Disaster. enter the new imposing ciq which took 5 times the time needed to cross malaysian border- I noticed the other side was jam packed. caucasians were sitting down in the queue learning languages and map etc.

nevermind, the one when I was re-entering jb was the worst. it was 2pm+, i cleared singapore side, and went down the escalator to board the bus across the causeway. to my terror there was two thick human lines right to the end. as i walked to the end of the line I noticed it was the door leading to the pedestrian way, some of them went down- I followed. causeway walk was reasonable, ciq walk was carcinogenic and we were literally driving our human bodies up the windy road. It was cramped enough for the vehicles (all the way jammed from the causeway to the F1 tracks =S), let alone let a few poor souls share the same tracks.

So I did it. Walked all the way to the bus drop off point at the ciq. only to realized later that there's no proper pedestrian walk yet. no wonder i was walking side by side with buses. they better had open the old customs. quick.

oh yeah, fencing along the F1 tracks- what are they doing man. I could have just climb over it or cut a hole through and escape the jam. =S

lohxy said...

we have a long way to became developed country. And dunno when johor bahru will became safer...

RLAJay said...

Woaah google has taken me back in time! I remember this. Traffic being a crawl? That's a huge understatement.