Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024

Tourists at Second Link seen eating packed food by the roadside while waiting for customs clearance

JOHOR BARU (SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – A netizen believed to be a tour guide posted on Facebook that tourists entering Malaysia waited seven hours for customs clearance and they ended up having dinner with packed food.

The posting also included many photographs of the Sultan Abu Bakar Building where the customs department is located, showing pieces of tissue paper thrown on the ground around the toilet and trash bin.

The netizen also said the photos were taken by tourists and remarked that tourist arrivals helped to increase revenue for the country but he is upset that the tourists are made to wait for long hours.

The Johor government’s Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) operations task force chairman Cheo Yee How and Johor Women Development and Tourism Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung express regret over the incident during a press conference.

Both urge travel operators to work with state government to avoid having tourists spending long hours waiting for clearance at customs checkpoint in KSAB.

Malaysian Tourist Guides Council president Leong Wie Kong, who was also present at the press conference, said the incidents of having packed food by the road side and performing fitness dancing to pass time while waiting for custom clearance are isolated cases.

The tourists are believed to be bored after waiting two to three hours and were trying to attract attention from the authorities.

He said complaints lodged against congestion at custom checkpoints are mainly from tour operators outside Johor. He said the public amenities at KSAB needed upgrading as the facilities are unable to cope with the traffic volume.

Yang Fu Lai, another tour operator, said he would arrange for tourists to have dinner in Singapore and avoid after work peak hours to enter Malaysia whenever he arranged for tourists from China to visit Forest City.

He said 60 to 70 tour buses enter Malaysia through the Second Link daily while the number of tour buses may increase to 100 and 150 during weekends.

Liow said due to safety reasons, tourists are not supposed to leave the bus and wander around the checkpoint area.

She stressed that the Johor state government views the issue seriously and the taskforce has also prepared a report to be presented to the federal government – Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Prime Minister’s Department to upgrade facilities in current building.

“For a short term solution, the authorities would be arranging for volunteer police to assist in traffic,” she said.

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