Everything started when a China national alleged that she was asked to pay several thousand ringgit to clear the immigration process.
Over the last few days, the internet has been buzzing about Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
Why Is The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister the Talk of The Town?
On Friday (June 30), Tiong revealed in a Facebook post that he was the minister said to have caused a “commotion” at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
In the 4 minute long video posted on his personal page, he explained that he had to personally step up to help a Chinese citizen after she was held by immigration officers at KLIA on her arrival from Shenzhen on Thursday.
He added that the woman had all her travel documents in order but was denied entry by immigration officers.
He said she was allegedly told that she would need to pay several thousands of ringgit if she wanted to enter the country.
This sparked corruption rumours among netizens and the rakyat alike.
Additionally, upon receiving the news, the Bintulu MP added that he had to swiftly make the decision to head to KLIA where he was accompanied by investigators from the Integrity Division of MOTAC.
He also added that the woman and the officers were said to have suffered a language barrier and was told by the officers that this was solely a misunderstanding on both parts.
MACC to Meet Tiong Over KLIA Corruption Allegations
Yesterday, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said they will meet with Tiong today to discuss his claims of corruption towards the immigration staff that were present during the commotion that occurred last week.
As reported by Utusan Malaysia, MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki noted that since it has become quite certain that information alleging corrupt practices has been exposed through media reports, the MACC will need to obtain relevant information for investigation.
We will be holding a meeting with both individuals involved.MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki
With that being said, on a separate note, Tiong also pointed out that he would provide MACC with any necessary details needed for the case.
Gaining Support From Various Groups And Voices
Since the incident, Tiong has received support from fellow politicians as well as tourism and retail associations.
As reported by Free Malaysia Today, Sarawak Pakatan Harapan secretary Alan Ling had given his support towards Tiong’s move to make things right.
Every minister, deputy minister and top government servant must ‘turun padang’ (go to the ground) frequently, even without prior notice, so that they can see the real situation at the location. Don’t plan an official visit where everything is well presented, then your visit will serve no purpose except as a mere formality.Sarawak Pakatan Harapan secretary Alan Ling
He also said that he believed the Bintulu MP had no personal agenda in this issue and was only trying to help someone in need upon learning what had happened.
On the other hand, the New Straits Times had reported that a total of 10 tourism and retailers associations have given their support to Tiong for speaking out on the China tourist’s issues.
According to the report, the 10 associations were:
- Asean Retail-Chains and Franchise Federation ARFF)
- Bukit Bintang-KLCC Tourism Association (BBKLCC)
- Batu Road Retailers Association (BARRA)
- Bumiputera Retailers Association (BRO)
- Industries Unite (IU)
- Malaysian Association of Theme Parks and Family Attractions (MATFA)
- Malaysian Retailers Association (MRA)
- Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA)
- Masjid India Business Association (MIDA)
They added that Tiongs’s stern actions should also be lauded.
The Prime Minister Makes A “Surprise” Visit to KLIA
Today it was reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made a 30 minute “surprise” visit to KLIA yesterday.
As reported by Bernama, Anwar noted that there are “some customs weaknesses in need of remedy.”
Generally, the majority of immigration services are proceeding smoothly. There are some problems, we will probe to improve and appropriate action will be taken if there are flaws.Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
He also pointed out that he would study the measures for improvement that have been taken and should be taken as well.
What we have to identify are “small groups” that are still unable to bring about change including facing several charges.Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
In its editorial yesterday, the New Straits Times, not citing any sources, talked about “a scale of graft fees, not printed in any permanent form, of course, but to be passed from one tourist to another.”
According to the NST Leader, this “oral tradition of sorts” ranges “anything from up to RM3,000 to RM15,000.”
If a tourist wants to get out of detention, the “fee” is up to RM3,000. If a speedy passage is needed, the tourist needs to cough up RM15,000, RM3,000 for a “special lane” and RM12,000 for visa-processing costs.NST Leader