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Hundreds of millions spent on immigration biometric and computer system yet we still allow North Korean operatives and Daesh fighters into the country

Media statement by Steven Sim, MP of Bukit Mertajam


I refer to the special report by NST on how Malaysia has become dumping ground for would-be Daesh fighters who were arrested in other countries for attempting to join the terrorist group in Syria. (Source: https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/239653/exclusive-threat-unwanted-tourists)

The report implied that the reason for this was because of our visa-free arrangement to the terrorists’ country of origin.

Because these Daesh fighters, some flagged as “high risk”, were allowed to enter Malaysia, our police had to be mobilised to track them down.

My question is: why did our Immigration let them enter Malaysia in the first place?

During the MH370 crisis, the Malaysian Immigration authority was criticised for their admission of not checking visitors against Interpol database and allowing two Iranian with forged passports to pass.

I have raised several times inside and outside of Parliament, the problems with our multi-million ringgit biometric and computerised Immigration management system. I have also warned of an insiders syndicate which has been facilitating human trafficking in the country.

In October 2014, I have highlighted how the NERS system may have potentially be breached to allow 718,000 suspicious foreigners to enter our country in 2013.

The Auditor-General report in April 2016 highlighted how another system, the MyEG online migrant worker permit renewal system had breached immigration laws by illegally renewing almost 9,000 migrant workers in 2013 and 2014.

In June 2016, it was reported that the authority busted an insiders syndicate in the Immigration Department which has been sabotaging the computer system called the Malaysia Immigration System (MyIMMS) to allow illegal entry into Malaysia.

All these systems are provided by private contractors who were awarded contracts worth hundreds of millions with yearly recurring payment, without open tender.

Malaysians were assured that these expensive contracts and purchases are necessary to ensure that our entry points are strengthen against intrusion. Yet today our Immigration gatekeepers are letting North Korean operatives and Daesh terrorists into the country!

Is it the problem with the tools? Or the insiders syndicate? Or both?

With such severe rot in the system, nothing less than a Royal Commission of Enquiry on Immigration Reform will do to deal with our immigration crisis.

Steven Sim Chee Keong
Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam
Director, Penang Institute

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