The Immigration Department here advised foreign motorists to comply with local rules and laws, following a scuffle between officers and a Singaporean couple at a checkpoint here.

The department’s passport control personnel have been encountering Singaporeans, both on motorcycles and cars, who have refused to comply with directives.

Other incidents also include verbal abuse and even physical threats against Immigration men discharging their duties.

Johor Immigration Department director Datuk Rohaizi Bahari said foreign motorists entering or exiting any of the country’s gazetted land checkpoints must follow instructions of the officers and obey Malaysian laws.

“Basically, the foreign motorists should cooperate with Immigration Department officers manning the passport control counters to ensure a smooth and hassle free entry or exit,” he told Malay Mail today.

Another common problem is the use of mobile phones for videos and photographs, which is prohibited in any gazetted security checkpoints or Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) areas.

Rohaizi said that while his men strive to be professional and courteous, non-compliance with their orders may lead to visitors being refused passage or even arrested.

On Tuesday, a Singapore couple heading home were arrested by Malaysian Immigration officers following a heated argument that turned into a scuffle at a passport control counter in the Sultan Iskandar Building’s CIQ.

The couple, aged 30 and 24, were earlier involved in an argument with a passport control counter officer.

The incident was believed to have stemmed from the allegedly rude manner they threw their passports at the officer twice.

The state Immigration Department has classified the case under Section 56(1)(g) of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 for obstructing an immigration officer from discharging passive duties.

Johor has two gazetted land checkpoints: one via the Causeway in the city centre and another the Second Link crossing in Tanjung Kupang.

An estimated 20,000 Singapore-registered vehicles enter Malaysia daily via the two land checkpoints. The figure is higher on weekends where Singaporeans flock to Johor Baru for shopping and other services due to the foreign exchange factor.

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