LABUAN, Nov 24 (Bernama) — The one-month feud over stricter immigration checks at the Labuan roll on-roll-off (ro-ro) ferry terminal will be resolved by end of this month, with the implementation of a drive-thru immigration check point at the main entrance of the terminal.
Labuan Corporation chief executive officer Rithuan Ismail said the implementation of the new immigration check point would help ease traffic flow at the terminal and ease the covenience of ferry commuters.
“We have come to a decision after considering the grievances of the people traveling to mainland Sabah via this terminal.
“We have received non-stop complaints from travellers over the new-implemented policy from day one of its implementation and we understand the situation owing to the limited space in the terminal building and the narrow road towards the ferry,” he told reporters after a visit to the terminal with officials from the Labuan Immigration Department, Marine Department and Customs here today.
He said the proper immigration counter at the terminal should be placed strategically as such checks could be permanent.
Rithuan also said the ferry ticketing counter currently inside the restricted and protected terminal area would be shifted outside of the terminal.
Labuan Immigration Department director Raymond Anak Entalai confirmed the drive-thru check point would be implemented by early December.
“When the drive-thru check concept is implemented drivers and passengers can remain in their vehicles and only required to produce their identification card or other valid travel documents to our on-duty staff,” he said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Sept 10 (this year) had directed the Immigration Department to enforce stricter control at the two Labuan ferry terminals, especially for non-Sabahan travellers bound for the Sabah mainland.
Its former minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said stricter control was needed to ensure there would be no free flow of travellers at the main gate of the ferry terminals to mainland Sabah via Tanjung Pagar Sipitang, Menumbok and Jesselton jetties.
He said the stricter immigration checks at the terminals were on request of the Sabah Government, as there had been issues on the abuse of the free flow policy at the terminals and this had resulted in (entry into Sabah) being out of control.
The stricter immigration checks at the terminals commenced on Nov 1, sparking anger among travellers commuting via the ferry service to mainland Sabah, claiming the new policy had given a ‘hard time’ to travellers and commuters.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency