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KUCHING, Feb 15: The federal government should revert the operating hours of Urban Transformation Centres (UTCs) to the original 8am to 9pm for the sake of the people.
Tan Kai, a political secretary to the Chief Minister, argued that this was especially important for three departments, considering the many visitors they received after working hours.
The most crowded agencies are Road Transport Department (JPJ), notably for road tax renewal; Immigration Department for passport matters; and National Registration Department (NRD) for identification card as well as birth and death certificates.
Tan said he went to the UTC here on Wednesday and noted the presence of a huge crowd there, probably due to the Chinese New Year holidays, where many people returned from overseas to renew their documents.
“The objective of setting up UTC is to provide convenience to the public who did not have time to process their documents during working hours so they could go after 5pm.
“It is too rush for an individual to get out of the office after-hours and make their way through peak-hour traffic to get to UTC, find car parks and queuing to get their important matters done by 6.30pm, which is the new closing time (since January this year),” he said.
He reckoned the best time to close the UTC would be 9pm.
The Finance Ministry’s decision to change the operating hours of UTCs nationwide has drawn criticisms from many quarters.
Starting Jan 1 this year, UTC Sarawak opens from 8am to 6.30pm and the break time for Friday prayers will be from 11.45am to 2.15pm. UTCs are only closed on state and federal public holidays. — DayakDaily