PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has refuted a news report which claimed the cancellation of the RM3.5bil National Immigration Control System (Skin) concession agreement was linked to the appointment of the new Immigration director-general.
“I deny the allegation,” said Muhyiddin in a statement here yesterday.
On Monday Malaysiakini reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was investigating if the ministry’s decision to scrap the Skin project and replace it with a fully-online Integrated Immigration System called myIMMs Global was linked to corruption.
It alleged that the newly-appointed Immigration director-general is related to someone in the firm.
However, Muhyiddin said the cancellation of the Skin project, initially awarded to Prestariang Skin Sdn Bhd (PSSB), was because the ministry found weaknesses in the terms of the concession agreement and project implementation.
He said a special committee was formed to study the Skin project in line with the Pakatan Harapan government’s policy to review high-value projects approved by the previous government.
He said among the weaknesses are the contract terms which profits the company more than the government, the exorbitant cost of the project and the limited scope which did not meet the actual requirements of the Immigration Department.
He explained that after several meetings, the Cabinet agreed on Nov 30 to conclude a concession agreement with PSSB and implement a new system, namely the Integrated Immigration System, through open tender.
Muhyiddin also denied allegations the contract for the new system was granted to a company linked to a senior official in the ministry.
“The Home Ministry is still developing the scope and specification of the system in line with the Cabinet’s decision to implement the project via an open tender.
“The final tender document is expected to be ready in April.
“To date, no company was given a contract, as reported by Malaysiakini,” he said.
Muhyiddin said the allegations are malicious and may be deliberately made by parties who are unhappy with the Home Ministry’s recommendation to cancel the Skin project.
“The recommendations by my ministry have been carefully crafted and brought for the consideration of the Cabinet four times. It was not made arbitrarily. As a result,the ministry has saved government funds estimated at almost RM1bil,” he added.
Muhyiddin said he will not compromise on corruption and power abuse, and voiced the ministry’s commitment to cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in an inquiry into any alleged misconduct.
Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud was appointed as the Immigration Department director-general early this month to replace Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, who has been transferred to lead the National Financial Crime Centre.