Miri experiences drop in traveller numbers in first 3 months of 2019

Lee (seated fourth left) and Julaihi (on Lee's left) posing for a group photo with other attendees after the meeting.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, April 10: The number of travellers to Miri city for the first three months this year has shown a drop compared to the same period last year.

Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said this after chairing the Miri Tourism Task Force meeting at the Miri Resident’s Office on Wednesday afternoon.

Statistics released by the Customs, Excise and Immigration post at Sungai Tujoh, in Kuala Baram (Miri-Brunei border) for the first three months this year showed’in/out’ traveller numbers have decreased.

“In 2018, a total of 3,600,021 arrivals was recorded compared to 783,229 of the same period this year,” said Lee.

Lee added, the numbers dropped because of the long queue at the immigration post at the border.

Therefore, he hoped the Immigration Department could find an efficient solution to resolve this issue immediately.

“Perhaps we can emulate Brunei’s immigration system to speed up the flow at the immigration check point,” he opined.

In the first three months of 2018, a total of 219,776 vehicles were recorded entering Miri, while 171,581 departed the city.

“However, this year, over the same period, a total of 53,361 vehicles were recorded entering Miri and 62,954 departing,” Lee said.

In addition to tackling the long queue at the border, Lee also suggested operating more counters at the immigration checkpoint besides increasing the number of staff.

Also present during the meeting were Miri Resident Julaihi Mastapa and representatives from various government agencies including the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) and Miri police. — DayakDaily