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Home minister reveals report on immigration cartel

Hamzah Zainudin says a transparent investigation will be held to identify the officers involved.

2 minute read
Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin. Photo: Bernama
Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin. Photo: Bernama

The home ministry today disclosed that it has received a report on the existence of cartel activities involving immigration department personnel in relation to immigration matters.

Its minister Hamzah Zainudin said the cartel’s involvement was not only related to promotions in the immigration department as it was also said to have used immigration officers for its benefit.

He said his deputy, Jonathan Yasin, had said that in Sabah there were advertisements offering Temporary Employment Visit Pass (PLKS) issuance services which should not have happened as the department had never appointed any agent for immigration matters.

“Investigations will be made transparently to identify the officers involved (with the cartel activities) and if there are any, we will take action against those who abuse their power,” he told a press conference after attending the 2021 Immigration Day Celebration in Putrajaya today.

Earlier in his speech, Hamzah said there were cartel members who were free to enter and exit the immigration department as well as members that sat at airports and national entry points.

He said the existence of the cartel had tarnished the reputation of the department which always received the best ranking for immigration services at international airports where this year, KLIA got fourth place in the World’s Best Airport Immigration Service 2021, by Skytrax.

“If we just go to Google, the issue of Malaysian immigration, the most important are cases of corruption and integrity. This is something I ask everyone to prevent from happening and to understand that our responsibility is to protect the country.

“If they (cartels) find it easy to enter, if we can sell whatever we have easily, then we are not safeguarding our country’s sovereignty,” he said.

Hamzah said the use of high technology and advanced assets such as automation, digitalisation, robotic, analytic CCTV, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence could reduce the existence of cartels or syndicates that could damage the image of immigration as it could reduce dealings that require direct communication between immigration officials and customers.

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