Dept collected RM42.5bil last year amid new challenges

PETALING JAYA: The Customs Department collected RM42.5bil in revenue last year, surpassing the target of RM40bil amid economic challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The department’s enforcement unit, meanwhile, seized a massive 16 tonnes of drugs worth RM5.2bil, its largest haul ever.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said an international drug cartel was also busted last year.

“With such outstanding performance, I am confident the department will continue to move forward as economic frontliners capable of driving high quality and positive growth of the country’s gross domestic product towards nurturing the prosperity of the Malaysian Family.

“I would like to congratulate and thank all members and officers of the Customs Department for the success they achieved, although we are still facing global uncertainties, especially the threats from Covid-19 and natural disasters,” he said at the launch of the 40th International Customs Day here yesterday.

Also present at the event were Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Mohd Shahar Abdullah and Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa.

Ismail Sabri added that the International Customs Day’s theme of “Expanding Digital Transformation Through Empowerment of Data Culture and Ecosystem” was very relevant to the current situation and in line with efforts to modernise the department’s services and operations.

“Digital technology, especially in the data and information-sharing sector, is an important platform and had been widely applied in ensuring continuity of public services, especially in facing the impact of Covid-19.

“As a dynamic and sustainable department, the Customs Department must ensure that its employees are digitally-literate and always ready to adapt to the technological transformation in creating and inculcating a data ecosystem,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said such directions were also in line with the National Digital Network (Jendela) aspiration and Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) to make Malaysia a leader in an efficient and proactive digital economy sector, hence shaping a high-income nation.

He also pointed out that the aspiration to drive digital transformation in the public service was not a new thing as it was clearly outlined in the Public Sector Digitisation Strategic Plan 2021-2025 to uphold transparency and improve efficiency in public services.

He said it was also in the seven strategic thrusts of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and was also included in mapping the direction of the 12th Malaysia Plan.

Ismail Sabri added that the government would continue to support the department in its fight against smuggling and to facilitate trade towards improving revenue collection and protecting the country’s borders.

“This commitment is proven via the increase of patrol boats and scanner machines as part of new assets in order to improve border patrol and at the same time boost cross-trade activities at the border,” he said.

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