KUALA LUMPUR: The Immigration Department denied that its officers solicited money from a Taiwanese woman who was detained at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) under the Not To Land (NTL) order.
Director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali (pic) said his officers followed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) when dealing with Yu Ya Chien, 34, bearing Taiwanese passport 303103544, who was not allowed to enter Malaysia due to her damaged passport upon arrival on March 9.
"We followed the SOP and law in handling her case.
"This individual is making up stories and she has made this issue into a personal issue," he said when contacted.
Mustafar was commenting on a report of the Taiwanese tourist who claimed she was detained at KLIA2 for 35 hours because of a "damaged passport", during which Immigration officers allegedly ill-treated her and demanded for money.
Posting her ordeal on Facebook under the name Chiao Mei, she said her mobile phone and passport were confiscated before she could inform her family of the situation.
Mustafar, who made a surprise visit to KLIA2 at about 2am Saturday, said he contacted Taiwan's representative to set the record straight regarding Yu's allegation.
"The representative is willing to cooperate with our department to ensure all Taiwanese citizens abide by the law and regulations in Malaysia," he said.
Elaborating on the procedure under the NTL order, Mustafar said under the Immigration Act 1959/63, those who were refused entry will be handed over to the airline to be sent back to their country of origin on the first available flight.
"Matters concerning the individual, including their welfare and food, will have to be borne by the airline.
"While waiting for the airline to settle the flight arrangement, individuals involved in the NTL will be placed at a holding area. On average, each individual will wait two to three days before the flight home," Mustafar said.
The individual imposed with the NTL is required to surrender all electronic devices to an Immigration officer at the holding area while waiting for the flight back to their country of origin.
"However, other valuables such as cash, jewellery and identification documents are under the responsibility of the individual and they are also required to sign an 'NTL surrendered items' form.
"In Yu's case, she surrendered two mobile phones and kept her cash. She was placed at the holding area and finally returned home on March 11 via an AirAsia flight," Mustafar said.
Between Jan 1 and Feb 28, 3,592 people slapped with the NTL order were sent back over various Immigration offences.