Tuesday January 20, 2009 - The Star
CIQ woes to be brought to Cabinet
JOHOR BARU: Reopening the old Customs and Immigration complex to pedestrian traffic can be one solution to the long walk public transport users now endure at the new CIQ.
Another will be for public buses to drop off passengers at the main entrance to the CIQ, which is at the west side of the building.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said he would propose these and other measures to the Cabinet as soon as possible.
Shahrir, who is also the Johor Baru MP, was speaking to reporters after a closed-door meeting with the relevant departments and authorities on the CIQ issues.
Among those present were PWD director-general Datuk Seri Prof Judin Abdul Karim, Works Ministry deputy director-general (development) Datuk Nasir Mat Dam, Gerbang Perdana managing director Datuk Yahya A. Jalil and PWD-Gerbang Selatan Bersepadu project director Zulkifly Nadom.
Currently, public transport commuters leave the CIQ through Johor Baru Central and City Square, requiring a long walk to the nearest bus stop.
Shahrir noted that another problem was the long and winding route from Johor Baru Central to the Immigration counters and then to the bus bay.
On the problems faced by traders in the city, Shahrir said they would be given the chance to rent a lot either at Johor Baru Central or within the complex.
“I am sure businessmen who had shops at the old CIQ and the areas nearby will want to get a lot in the new building or at Johor Baru Central,” he said.
Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said Johor was seeking approval from the Federal Govern-ment to build a new RM200mil medium-term link from the CIQ to the Causeway.
The link would allow motorists to drive straight to Singapore, he told reporters at the opening of Teo Seng Capital Bhd’s new RM40mil corporate office and production complex near Yong Peng.
He pointed out that the new CIQ was designed to cater for a bridge which would replace the Causeway, but the bridge project did not take off, hence the problems.