Johor Bahru business community has urged the Malaysian immigration department to exempt Singaporean from the recently implemented biometric system when entering Malaysia.
This was highlighted during a joint press conference organized by Johor Bahru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI), Johor Indian Chamber of Commerce (JICC), Johor Bahru Hawker Association, Johor Bahru City Small Business Association and Southern Johor Night Market Association.
JBCCI president, Loh Liam Hiang said the number of customers from Singaporean at restaurants, hawker centres, shopping complex, entertainment outlets and other places has dropped to between 30% -50 % since the implementation of the system on June 1.
“Singaporean should be exempted from the biometric system, as they already have the Malaysian Automated Clearance System (MACS) passes and passports. Why the need to take thumb prints for identification ?” asked Loh.
The business community also stressed that they were not against the biometric system, which was in interest of national security, but urged government to consider implementing the system in the right time.
The recent traffic congestion that lasted up to 7 hours due to the recently launched biometric system at Customs, Immigration and Quaratine complex had seriously affected the businesses in Johor Bahru.
Instead, they urged the Immigration department to increase its number of staff during peak period, such as school holidays and weekend, to handle the influx of Singaporeans and foreign tourists.
JICC deputy president, David Pubalan said other than tourists, there were number of small-and-medium-sized Singapore companies operating in Johor. There are Singaporean who come to work as well. Singaporean and Malaysians go a long way back. Let them pass without hassle.