By Peter Sibon
SERIAN, Dec 15: The Tebedu Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex needs to be urgently upgraded as it is in a dilapidated state, says Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.
He said he had highlighted the matter in Parliament at least three times and a promise was made during the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration to build a new complex at a cost of RM400 million.
“There is an urgent need to build the new CIQ complex in Tebedu as the current one is already dilapidated and getting too small for current needs as an international gateway for travelers from Kalimantan to enter Sarawak,” Riot told DayakDaily today.
He added that with the Indonesian government planning to move its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan in the near future, the Malaysian government could not delay construction.
“While our CIQ (complex) is in dilapidated state, the Indonesian CIQ complex on the Entekong side is a five-star complex. So, we must upgrade ours. It’s not a matter of comparison but a matter of urgent need,” he emphasised.
Riot who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan said in Parliament yesterday that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has agreed that the Sarawak government would bear half the estimated RM400 million cost to build the new Tebedu CIQ complex.
“And I would like to put on record that Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Minister of Home Affairs) visited Tebedu CIQ on July 19, 2020 to see for himself the urgency of building a new one,” Riot disclosed.
In Dec 2017, then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that Malaysia would build a new CIQ complex in Tebedu comparable to its Indonesian counterpart in Entikong.
Speaking to reporters during his working visit to the Tebedu CIQ complex at the time, Ahmad Zahid expressed hope that paperwork would be done soon to look into what was needed to build the needed facilities there.
Ahmad Zahid also said a taskforce would be formed to look into whether to upgrade the present facilities at the Tebedu CIQ or to build a new complex altogether during his visit.
At the time, Ahmad Zahid said the construction cost for a new CIQ complex would be shared equally between the federal and state governments. — DayakDaily