PETALING JAYA: A viral message warning Malaysians of robbers dressed as officials from the “Department of Home Affairs” actually turns out to be an alert issued to South Africans.
The following message claimed that “authorities” were checking the identification documents of locals, especially with the 14th General Election expected to be called this year:
“Security Alert: Be warned, there is a group going to homes and pretending to be officials from home affairs. They have documents with the letterhead Department of Home Affairs and claim to be confirming that everyone has a valid ID for the upcoming elections. They are robbing homes. Take note there is no initiative like that from the government. Send this on your neighbourhood group chat. They are everywhere and they look presentable.”
A very similarly worded statement was published by the Republic of South African Department of Home Affairs on its website (http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/1047-media-statement-on-elections-scam) in October, 2017.
The Department had warned South Africans to be alert of a group of individuals visiting homes in South Africa, pretending to be officials from the Department.
“They carry with them documents with letterheads purportedly from Home Affairs and claim to be confirming the validity of IDs for the upcoming elections,” said the statement.
“These individuals are criminals who rob households once they gain entry. There is no such initiative from the Department,” it said.
The Department informed that Home Affairs officials are clearly identifiable by name tags, and that household visits will be announced through official government channels.
It seems like the message, which has been circulating among Malaysians recently, is a copy of the Republic of South African Department of Home Affairs' alert.
It is also important to note that Malaysia has no Department of Home Affairs, instead we have a Home Affairs Ministry.