Malaysiakini Letter

Implement three-measure reform now to safeguard national borders

Steven Sim Chee Keong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I refer to the statement by Immigration Department director-general (DG) Mustafar Ali reported by the press that there are still corrupt “traitors” within the department.

I applaud Mustafar’s frank admission on this matter.

However I want to remind the director-general that these “traitors” are not only immigration staff, but also immigration contractors who received lucrative multi-million ringgit contracts without open tender and for doing paper-shifting works which the Immigration Department itself can easily do.

I have written about the problem of Malaysian Migrant Industrial Complex, a multi-billion scheme profiting companies close to the ruling party, providing services for the Immigration Department.

I have urged a review of all private vendor contracts appointed since January 2015 and open tenders should be conducted for all contracts henceforth. Is the DG willing to do this?

I also want to point out that although the DG reported that between 2014 and 2016, 146,874 illegal immigrants and 2,785 employers were arrested, what about the insiders, and human trafficking and smuggling syndicates exposed in reports by both the Malaysian authorities and international organisations?

Will the DG initiate a high-level inter-departmental investigation team to be led by the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) together with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and police to totally crush the insider syndicate and criminal gang operating human trafficking activities?

Finally, despite the massive network of insider syndicate making billions of ringgit from human trafficking activities, with law enforcers and deputised citizen corp being implicated in domestic and international investigations, discovery of death camps and mass graves in our northern border, from 2010 to 2016 while there were 1,091 cases of human trafficking reported, less than 10 percent of these cases - about 103 cases - were convicted in the Malaysian courts.

While the government has not provided the breakdown of the types of conviction, I have compiled such breakdown from the cases reported by the US Department of State’s Trafficking In Person (TIP) reports over the years below:

Even when there is a conviction, “the majority of sentences were weak and incommensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, including a trafficker who was administered one day in prison plus a fine of RM20,000, and three others who given sentences of one to three and one-half years’ imprisonment”.

The failure of our immigration system is only too obvious. For most part the failure is not caused by random breakdowns of the system, but rather a systemic deficiency inherent in the present administration.

Will the DG support our proposal for the formation of a Royal Commission on Immigration Reform to fully clean up the whole department?

I have listed the three measures above for the action of the director-general since he first came into office in July 2016. Being the gatekeeper of our national borders, I urge him to implement these measure immediately to save our country from those whom he rightly labelled “traitors” who breach our country’s sovereignty by their criminal action.


STEVEN SIM CHEE KEONG is MP for Bukit Mertajam and deputy spokesperson, DAP Parliamentary Committee for Human Resources.

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