Monday, January 14, 2008


Tawau urgently needs new CIQ jetty Complex, MP

Tawau Member of Parliament Shim Paw Fatt has called on the State Government to seriously consider constructing a new Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex and a new jetty for Tawau.
This is because the existing ones could no longer cater to the tremendous increase in volume of foreigners, both tourists and labourers, coming into Tawau by sea.
In a statement issued here yesterday, Shim highlighted that Tawau is the gateway for people from East Kalimantan to Sabah and other parts of Malaysia.
"At the moment, not less than six ferries come from Nunukan and Tarakan, Indonesia bringing in more than 1,000 people daily. The number of persons going out is roughly the same.
"The tiny jetty could only accommodate two boats alongside at any one time and those coming in later have to berth alongside others so that their passengers are compelled to hop on and hop off in order to get to the jetty. The safety of the passengers is thus compromised.
"Long queue occurs every day for hours before their travelling documents are processed. This has caused enormous dissatisfaction to the passengers particularly the tourists.
"Over the years, I have had the opportunity to visit many towns in East Kalimantan and while there I was confronted by the community of the shabby treatments they received in Tawau. I was immensely embarrassed," he elaborated.
Shim revealed that he had in fact since 2000 appealed to the authorities concerned, the Minister of
Home Affairs in particular, fora new CIQ
Complex and a new jetty in order to accommodate the ever-increasing traffic.
But so far, he had only succeeded in getting
an allocation of RM200,000 which was used to
expand the immigration office to expedite the
procession of documents.
"Despite this, the congestion remains," he
Then in 2006, the Federal Government announced a plan to build a new CIQ Complex at a budget of RM40 million.
Unfortunately, the site at Sungai Imam proposed by the State Government was found to be unsuitable owing to its distance to Tawau town and the lack of infrastructure."I have made a number of appeals to the saidMinistry to build the complex at the present site orits immediate neighbourhood where there are amplespace. To my surprise, the Ministry in reply to myquestion in Parliament last year said that the project has been taken offthe Ninth Malaysia Plan. The task is givento the State Government as it is more appropriate for Sabahto undertake the project as the complex would be used morefor commercial activities and port operation," he revealed.
He then pointed out that the construction of a new CIQ Complex and a jetty for Tawau is both timely and significant in view of the various developments currently taking place in the region.
He cited for example, due to its proximity to Tawau, the opening up of millions of hectares of oil palm plantations in East Kalimantan will considerably boost the business volume in Tawau many folds from the present estimated RM10 millions of monthly transaction.
"The economic spin-offwffl be tremendous. It is therefore imperative for us to upgrade our facilities in order to reap the maximum benefit. Needless to say, a lot of business will be lost if the facilities remain as they are," he pointed out.
He added that if implemented, the project will also augur well
wefor the implementation of the Sabah Development Corridor which will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Abdullah Badawi on 29th of this month.