Sunday, 24 September 2023

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Malaysia’s Home Minister denies ‘culture of corruption’ in immigration; Investigates company’s role in handling ‘Not To Land’ cases

MALAYSIA — Malaysia Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail denies having a “culture of corruption” practised by the Immigration Department towards foreign arrivals at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

He said a company named Mono Circle Sdn Bhd was appointed by an airline to provide food and flight tickets to foreign arrivals denied entry at KLIA.

“When the company staff requested money from NTL (Not To Land) foreign arrivals, they asked NTL to pay for the services provided by the company to facilitate the process for them to return to where they come from and to arrange meals for them while they wait for their flights at KLIA,” Saifuddin told reporters at the press conference after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday (5 Jul).

He said the government appointed Mono Circle on  5 February 2023, to provide services to foreign arrivals denied entry to Malaysia, and he admitted that he did not know this appointment.

“When I found out about this, I contacted transport minister Anthony Loke to ask him to reassess the company,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said every foreign arrival at the airport can strictly reject any request by any person who claims to be a government representative.

The government did not deny any foul play involving extortion, he said, some parties extort foreign arrivals denied entry and people who apply for citizenship.

“The government has tried its best to improve these procedures and will not charge any fee except for the formal fees.

“It used to have unwritten rules to pay bribes but it is no longer a practice. If there is any, please report it,” he said.

Separately, Malaysian Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing recently intervened in an alleged corruption case at KLIA involving immigration officers.

Last Thursday (29 June), an online media portal Bebas News, reported that a minister trespassed into the international arrival hall at KLIA after being alerted about the detention of a Chinese tourist who had been denied entry and detained there on 28 June.

In a separate incident, a Chinese national student who went to Malaysia to pursue a master’s degree was unexpectedly detained by the Malaysian Immigration Department for nearly a month.

This ordeal pushed him to the brink of collapse and led him to protest on a hunger strike.

Huang Yi paid RM 6,000 (approximately US$1,283) to an “agent” to obtain the special visa, but little did he know that it would mark the beginning of his nightmare.

His lawyer, Lee Sok Wah, informed Sin Chew Daily that he was scheduled to return to China on June 3 with another female Chinese student.

Huang Yi was handcuffed and escorted by three officials at KLIA on his way to board his flight.

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