The Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex in Bukit Kayu Hitam is set for a 20-hour operation starting November. File pic by AMRAN HAMID.

BUKIT KAYU HITAM: Final preparation is being made for the 20-hour operation of the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex in Bukit Kayu Hitam on Wednesday.

The phase one of the complex will be opened for heavy vehicles entering and leaving Thailand and Malaysia.

The checkpoint is equipped with double security inspection lanes and enforcement application including cargo scanning machine, weighbridge, cold room and quarantine facilities for livestock and plants.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is slated to visit to the complex early November to take a closer look at the operation.

Zahid has visited the site three times since April after the government came out with a solution to end prolonged dispute between two companies which formed a consortium to develop the project. The dispute had caused the project to be delayed by almost two years.

Malaysian Fish Wholesalers and Importers and Marine Produce Association chairman Datuk Yusof Ismail said the opening of the second border checkpoint in Bukit Kayu Hitam would turn the area into a major business hub for fresh produce.

He said the second checkpoint which has been designate for heavy vehicles will cut the waiting period for lorries and containers carrying fresh produce, thus reducing the time for it to reach the destination.

“We welcome the government’s effort to make Bukit Kayu Hitam as a logistic hub for the country and on the same note we hope the service provided by government agencies there is efficient to meet the increase number of heavy vehicles,” he said.

Yusof said among the fresh goods imported through Bukit Kayu Hitam were fishery products, vegetables and fruits.

He said the goods were not only for Malaysian market but also for Singapore.

Yusof also hoped for better facilities and equipment at the second checkpoint to smoothen the inspection and documentation process.

Residents living in the area hoped that the new second border checkpoint which begins operation next month could help spur the economic development in Bukit Kayu Hitam.

Siti Aminah Abdullah, 43, said the border town used to have many visitors before but the number declined over the years.

“I have been selling various merchandise for over 20 years. I did enjoy good business but the delay in the construction of the complex slowed down business activities here,” she said.

She said the Kubang Pasu district office had taken the initiative to open a new business complex, Darul Qiyam Complex, which she hoped will enjoy the benefits from the 20-hour operation.

She said the complex was opened four month ago, located about 1.5km from the ICQS.