Unscrupulous law enforcement officers targeting foreigners, says MACC

PETALING JAYA: Corruption among law enforcement officers is becoming chronic, says the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Its deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya (pic) said foreigners have become a "gold mine" for unscrupulous officers.

He said among those being targeted by enforcement officials to solicit bribes include foreign workers, students and undocumented migrants.

"Regardless of whether they have a work permit, a student visa or are undocumented, they have always been targets," he said in a post on the MACC website on Monday (March 27).

"It is saddening and a bitter truth to swallow, but foreigners have constantly faced this. This is the fact that has brought a negative impact to Malaysia.

"Corruption among enforcement officers who are seen as security frontliners is becoming more chronic and worrying," he said.

Khusairi said the "Malaysia Boleh" slogan has become a topic of cynicism and linked to corruption.

He said it is not surprising that Malaysia had become a hub for employing migrant workers; drug transit; scams and dubious international investments; online gambling; Macau scams and prostitution rings, among others.

"We have often rejected and have been in denial of the reality. In fact we have found several reasons to deny it. The comment that we often hear – which is that this is an isolated incident – should not be used as an excuse to deny the reality of the greed of enforcement officers," he said.

Khusairi provided 17 examples of vice activities involving foreigners that have frequently occurred in this country.

Among them were foreign workers' quota applications where companies have to pay a bribe to secure approvals; bribery involving enforcement officials at international gateways to expedite the exit and entry process; abusing student visas to seek employment; indulging in activities such as prostitution; gambling; scams; obtaining citizenship and birth certificates through bribery as well as smuggling.

He said such activities have opened up room for enforcement officials to indulge in bribery whether in a small scale or by syndicates.

"The issue of foreigners flooding into this country should not be taken lightly. The impact is very bad because it involves social problems, crime, health and security," he said.

The MACC's revelation through Op Tropicana, Op Bolos KLIA 1 & 2, Op Lancar and a series of other operations have proven the seriousness of the issue, he said, adding that this warrants stern action by enforcement agencies.

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