Home Ministry studying NIISe share disposal exercise

SEPANG: The Home Ministry will determine if the disposal of equity interest by the company granted the National Integrated Immigration System (NIISe) project has breached the terms and conditions of the agreement signed with the government, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

He said he had been briefed by the ministry’s officers overseeing the project on Sunday, adding that the issue came to light following media reports on the share disposal exercise to another company.

“I had called for the briefing to determine if the corporate exercise conflicted with the contract signed between the company awarded the project and the government.

“At the same time, I took the opportunity to follow the project’s current status.

“The briefing was short. I have been supplied with a rather thick document, and I will be reading every line before making any decision or taking any action,” he told reporters at KL International Airport yesterday.

Saifuddin said he would brief the Cabinet on this issue on Friday.

“Allow me to focus on the corporate exercise. How the company obtained the project and if there is a need for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to step in, I have not come to that yet,” he said.

According to reports on Feb 10, Iris Corporation Bhd had entered into a share sale agreement with Tass Tech Technologies Sdn Bhd to dispose of 80% of the equity interest in its unit, Iris Information Technology Systems Sdn Bhd (IITS), for RM70mil in cash.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Iris Corp said the proposed disposal would enable the company to unlock its investment in IITS, and the disposal consideration would contribute positively to its cash flow.

IITS is the developer of the RM13bil NIISe.

News reports quoted Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud as saying that NIISe would be introduced in two years with all immigration-related affairs, including those now managed by outside parties, reverting to the department.

The MACC is reportedly investigating a former prime minister and his son-in-law in relation to the project.

There have been suggestions that NIISe, which is being developed to replace the Immigration Department’s existing foreign worker registration mechanism, is a sick project.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin was at KLIA yesterday to send off a foreign stowaway – a 16-year-old Bangladeshi boy – who was found in a container at Westport last month.

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