Published on: Friday, June 29, 2012
Tawau: Passenger traffic flow at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Centre here is expected to improve when 14 more Immigration Department counters begin to operate next year.
Sabah Immigration Director Mohammad bin Mentek said the 14 counters would enhance services as they would complement the present 10 counters at the CIQ here.
The counters would start to operate as soon as upgrading work at the centre is completed because it (CIQ) served as the main entrance of the traffic between Tawau and Nunukan as well as Tarakan, Indonesia.
"Twelve of the counters at the CIQ would be used for the arrival of ferries and the rest for departures," Mohammad said after heading a technical working group JKK/KK Sosek-Malindo to study the implementation of immigration operations at Sungai Nyamuk in Pulau Sebatik and in Nunukan, Indonesia.
On public grouses about congestion at the CIQ, he said it wasn't due to the lack of counters but ferry traffic. Presently, he said there are nine ferries operating between Tawau and Nunukan with an average of 1,500 passengers per day.
"Sometimes, three or four ferries would arrive at the CIQ simultaneously and cause the congestion.
"We have voiced this matter to the Indonesian authorities and asked the ferries to follow schedules," Mohammad said, adding his department is willing to open counters at the CIQ centre in the weekends if there is a demand.
Meanwhile, Sebatik Assemblyman Abdul Muis Picho, also said that the ferry route between Tawau and Nunukan should be changed to a route behind Sebatik island to avoid erosion and jeopardising the source of income of traditional fishermen here.
Immigration head at Sungai Nyamuk, Dwi Kustanto received the delegation while in Nunukan they were welcomed by the Nunukan immigration head, Andi Roja SH.