Sunday, 1 October 2023

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Malaysian Tourism Minister absent from scheduled meeting with anti-corruption commission

MALAYSIA — Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing was nowhere to be seen today at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya for the scheduled meeting, as confirmed by MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki.

When contacted by the New Straits Times via a WhatsApp call, Tiong refused to confirm whether he would be showing up at MACC headquarters.

“Why are you waiting there? Who asked you to wait? Go back. Go do something else more productive (rather than waiting around outside MACC),” he said.

When told the media members were only doing their job and following instructions from their editors, Tiong replied: “We want to resolve things in a nice manner. Why do you want to cause more damage (by trying to blow things up).”

The NST again pressed Tiong as to whether he would be turning up at MACC headquarters.

His only reply was: “I do my work, you do your work, ok?”

A video clip of Tiong raising his voice at an Immigration officer stationed at one of the arrival counters on Friday has gone viral since.

In an immediate response to the commotion incident, Tiong said he had gone to the airport after receiving a call about tourists from China being “extorted” by Immigration officers upon arrival and decided to check things out for himself.

He claimed that a Chinese national who had just arrived was asked RM18,000 to be allowed into the country, despite having all the necessary travel documents on her arrival.

Tiong, however, had denied claims that he had ordered the Immigration Department to release the tourist from its custody.

On Sunday (2 Jul), MACC confirmed that the agency’s scheduled to meet Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing today (3 Jul).

The Chinese national involved in the incident will also attend the meeting with MACC.

“The information alleging corrupt practices has been exposed through media reports, hence the MACC needs to get all the relevant information.”

“We will be meeting with both individuals involved in the matter and we do not want anyone to take advantage of this tense situation.”

“We hope everyone will remain patient. If there is truth to what has been exposed, we will take action per the MACC laws,” Azam Baki added.

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