The automated customs clearance system at the Sultan Iskandar Building’s Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) checkpoint will be suspended from Oct 16 for installation and replacement works.
Members of the public have since wondered why this could not have been addressed during the two years of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
According to a Facebook post by the Sultan Iskandar Building, the autogate replacement and installation work at the checkpoint will start from Oct 16 until Nov 10.
However, the automated gates not scheduled for replacement will operate as usual for “Malaysian citizens visitors.”
The post included alternative travel routes where clearance is conducted manually.
Counters 1 to 4 for Malaysian citizens, counter 5 for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women and Malaysian permanent residents. Counters 6 to 18 will cater to all passports.
Malaysian media China Press reported that the improvement works would result in an extended time to clear customs as more individuals will pass through manual counters.
Responding to the news, netizens asked what authorities were doing in the last two years. “They were dying for borders to re-open. Prior to that, what were they doing? Why wait till Deepavali then upgrade? On purpose issit?” asked a Facebook user.
“Causeway was totally restricted for visitors due to lockdown for about two. Years! Both sides had so much time and opportunity to improve their own system and the roads to and fro and whatever linked for efficient and effective clearance when it opened! Yet nothing was done to anticipate a bigger surge of visitors, and it becomes worse and worse after the restriction was lifted!” said an exasperated netizen in a comment with nearly 100 likes.
“This shows how poor planning their authority is for making such decisions to suspend during peak period,” added another Facebook user. /TISG