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New director general should reform immigration department

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Cautiously welcome, but three immediate tasks for new director generalDG of the Immigration Department, says Steven Sim Chee Keong.

I welcome with caution the appointment of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) outgoing deputy chief commissioner Mustafar Ali as the new director general of the Immigration Department replacing Sakib Kusmi.

The immigration department is in crisis today

The crux of this problem is, on the one hand, the loose border control which allowed between 2-3m undocumented migrants into this country and, on the other hand, the “disorganised, haphazard, random and senseless” migrant workers policy which messed up our own job market.

The two key factors which contributed to these problems are:

  • firstly the insider syndicate which has been facilitating human trafficking and illegal migration activities, and
  • secondly, the Malaysian migrant industrial complex, an exclusive and lucrative club of a handful of private contractors supplying services to the immigration department which continues to rake billions of ringgit in profit at the expense of rational economic and job policies.

Mustafar has ample experience in fighting corruption

It is undeniable that Mustafar brings with him, his experience fighting corruption at the highest level being the second man of the MACC. This will certainly be useful in cleaning up the department.

However, what I am afraid is that his hands will be tied by political masters. The MACC’s failure to deal with the prime minister’s RM2.6bn donation is a deep scar in Mustafar’s track record, if any.

As such, will he now be able to stand up against the corrupt in the immigration department?

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Full support for the new director general in overhauling the department

Nevertheless, we are willing to lend him the fullest support in cleaning up and reforming the immigration department.

If he is sincere, Mustafar should initiate the following measures within the first month as director general of the immigration department:

  • Stop and review all private vendor contracts by the immigration department since January 2015. Open tender should be conducted for all contracts from now;
  • Initiate a high-level inter-departmental investigation team to be lead by the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission, together with the MACC and police, to totally crush the insider syndicate operating human trafficking activities;
  • Support our call for the formation of a royal commission on immigration reform to fully clean up the whole department.

Rest assured, conscientious Members of Parliament and Malaysians will stand with him in his new task if he puts duty before self.

Steven Sim is the Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam.

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