1 July 2023
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will probe claims of the alleged “culture of corruption” by immigration officers in handling foreign travelers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said they will gather information from the parties involved after allegations were made by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
“The MACC will investigate the matter.
“We urge the public not to sensationalise or speculate this matter,” he told the New Straits Times today.
Yesterday, a portal reported that a commotion occurred at KLIA when a minister allegedly barged into the international arrival hall to “rescue” a Chinese national, who was detained by immigration officers upon entering Malaysia.
Tiong later confirmed that he was the minister involved but denied that he was there to demand that the authorities release the female Chinese traveler.
He claimed that there was a “culture of corruption” within the Immigration Department’s handling of arrivals of foreign visitors at the KLIA.
He said his advice to the Immigration officers had fallen on deaf ears after several alleged bribery cases were highlighted to him in the past.
Meanwhile, Tiong said he will get the Chinese traveler to report to the MACC on claims that she was allegedly asked by immigration officers to pay money to secure her release from detention.
Tiong said it was better for the traveler to document what had happened with the MACC.
“There is no point for me to do it. It is better for her to make the report directly herself so that those investigating officers will understand the situation better,” he told the New Straits Times today.
In a 4.29 minute video posted on his Facebook page yesterday, Tiong said he was told by the traveler that she was allegedly asked by a “three-star” ranking officer when she was going to pay up.
“If you pay, then you can be released now,” Tiong related.
Tiong said the officer had asked the woman for RM3,000 which will enable her immediate release, another RM3,000 for her next re-entry into Malaysia, as well as RM12,000 for visa processing fees.
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