Lim Sue GoanFollowing the exposure of the corruption scandal involving immigration officers, it seems that the highest income jobs in the country is not that of the big corporate CEOs but that of senior immigration officers.
Police investigations have revealed that a senior immigration officer suspected to be involved in human trafficking activities being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) is alleged to have kept RM900 million in a bank in Thailand over the past 10 years. He also owns a few luxury cars and several real estates.
Which job allows one to earn that much within 10 years?
The expose of such officials abusing their power to earn money through human trafficking has indeed damaged the country's reputation, and an ironic blow to the government’s efforts to make anti-corruption one of the National Key Result Areas (NKRAs).
To clear the name of the Immigration Department, new Immigration Department director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad has come out with 10 anti-corruption measures.
Three of the measures are forbidding officials on duty from using mobile phones, officials should not have more than RM30 cash with them while on duty, and they should be transferred every three to five years.
Forbidding officials on duty from using mobile phones could stop them from passing information to human trafficking syndicates while limiting the amount of cash to be brought by officials could prevent black money collection. As for the transference, it would prevent officials from establishing contact with the syndicates.
The measures seem perfect, but crimes are always hard to detect. And now, even the ISA has to be invoked. The officials should behave themselves then. Those who think so are a bit too naïve. Don't forget that greediness is human nature and how many can actually stay calm and not be lured by interests?
The 10 measures are not all to curb corruption. There will still be corruption practices even if there are 100 or 1,000 measures. Some department heads might think that they have done enough and are out of idea what else should be done to curb corruption.
In fact, anti-corruption should be a non-stop ongoing effort. Malaysia is facing a serious corruption problem because there is not enough done to fight corruption.
For example, the driving without licence issue was hot a few years ago and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had taken some actions but the issue has since been left unsettled. And recently, there is a scandal involving an official from the Road Transport Department (JPJ) who allegedly received RM660,000 in bribes.
As for the Port Klang Free Zone scandal, the court's latest decision indicates that the trial might take a few years to complete. In addition, the court battle defeat of the Attorney-General's Office in a few big cases has also brought down the morale of the authorities.
The latest immigration corruption case has shown that corruption problem has been worsened. They might only received bribes within the country in the past, but today, international human trafficking syndicates might be involved and corrupt officials might also involved in oversea money-laundering activities.
During the Government Transformation Plan (GTP) Open Day in December last year, the Prime Minister Office has announced four measures to combat corruption, including all government procurement plans and privatisation contracts to be disclosed publicly and political donation system to be reformed. And now, only the establishment of the Whistleblower Protection Act and the disclosure of the names of corrupt criminals have achieved the targets, while the remaining commitments are not fulfilled.
In addition to a streamlined anti-corruption team, an efficient legislative is also a must to curb corruption. To succeed it, the power of punishment, containment and deterrence must be developed. - mysinchew.com