Illegal acts by Immigration, Registration Dept officers tantamount to treason, says Patriot

PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department and the National Registration Department should be revamped to weed out traitors, says the National Patriots Association (Patriot).

Patriot president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said the alleged involvement of civil servants in human trafficking rings and MyKad sales rackets warranted a need for a total revamp of the two departments.

"Any illegal activity carried out by officials of the two agencies is tantamount to treason.

"Patriot urges the government to undertake a complete revamp of both the departments and the department heads must be told plainly that they are to accept full responsibility and accountability in the future for any failure within their respective departments," he said on Saturday (Nov 21).

He said this in response to recent arrests involving immigration officers, as the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) carried out investigations into corrupt practices associated with a human trafficking ring.

"The large number of arrests is an indication of the inherent weakness in the management, operation, and control of the Immigration Department," said Arshad.

He also noted that in September last year, 20 National Registration Department officers were arrested in Penang for allegedly selling Malaysian identification documents to foreigners for a fee ranging from RM100,000 to RM600,000.

"It was reported that the state NRD assistant director was involved," he said.

The spate of arrests of immigration officers by the MACC was a cause for concern, he said.

On Friday (Nov 20), four people including an Immigration officer linked to a trafficking ring involving foreign workers from China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh were arrested.

The authorities had confiscated cash amounting to more than RM800,000,26 luxury cars and four high-powered motorcycles.

On Nov 17, MACC arrested 27 immigration officers and 19 civilians in a nationwide swoop.

And in early February this year six men, including a Penang Immigration Department officer, were arrested for staging a robbery in Bukit Mertajam.

"It reflects poorly on the leadership of the department who should know that their job demands strict compliance with rules and procedures.

"It is unbelievable that so many recalcitrant officers had been allowed to carry out their illegal activities for over a year, unnoticed by their superiors.

"Unless, of course, the superiors are themselves a party to the illegal activity," he said.

Arshad said the government should impose zero tolerance to put an end to such activities that could undermine national security and sovereignty.

"The Immigration Department and the NRD are two critical departments that must come under scrutiny by the relevant investigating and security agencies," he said.

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