KUALA LUMPUR: The beleaguered company that was awarded the RM1bil National Integrated Immigration System (NIISe) project but failed to deliver on time will know its fate by April, says the Home Minister.
Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (pic) said the Cabinet had discussed the latest development of the issue surrounding IRIS Information Technology Systems Sdn Bhd (IITS) during a meeting.
"Yes the Cabinet discussed it when a Cabinet notice I filed was raised.
"The notice was meant to inform for the purpose of a discussion, which is different from a Cabinet memo that requires a decision.
"I have presented the latest updates about the project and Cabinet wanted the Home Ministry to come up with the recommendation.
"We have until April to come out with the Cabinet memo that will determine the future direction of this project.
"We are working on this now," he said when met after closing the 29th and 30th annual general meeting of Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation in Cheras here Saturday (Mar 11).
Saifuddin said that IITS, which was officially awarded the project in March 2021, had been facing delays in completing the project.
"So far, they have not even achieved the supposed level of the project, which cost almost RM1.2bil and it's much anticipated by the government."
When asked if the company had been terminated, he said "not yet", adding that it needed more deliberation.
"For a project of such a large scale, certainly there are several parameters (to be considered) before deciding whether to continue to terminate.
"It's easy to say terminate but there must be grounds and factors of consideration," he said.
Saifuddin also said other factors included the project's progress and why it had stalled.
"All these should be considered before we decide what is the future direction in a Cabinet decision," said Saifuddin.
When asked if the decision may include a termination of the company, Saifuddin said he did not want to speculate.
It was reported that only about 10% of the NIISe project had been completed so far. It has also been classified as a 'sick' project due to the delays.
It was also revealed that the company had even decided to sell the project after it was not able to afford to go forward with it.
NIISe, a project under the Home Ministry, was originally contracted to be completed fully in 2025.
It was set to replace the myIMMs system used by the Immigration Department which has been in operation for over 20 years.
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.
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 Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was reportedly investigating a former prime minister and his son-in-law in relation to the project.
Saifuddin said the ministry was also looking into the possibility of a breach of contract between the company and the government in the case the company disposes of its shares while being bound by the contract.