How Corrupt Immigration Solicited RM18,000 From Chinese Tourists – China Warns Malaysia To Protect Its Citizens

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Jul 01 2023
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Everyone knows that Immigration Department of Malaysia is one of the most corrupted institutions in the country. Arguably, the corruption started to spread like wildfire during former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s 22 years iron-fist rule (from 1981 to 2003). Today, every single institution is still infected, even after 20 years since Mahathir’s retirement.


But the agency is now in hot soup after picking the wrong target. Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing knew what to do after receiving a call for help from a staff member of the Consulate General of Malaysia in Guangzhou. As one of the many corrupt Member of Parliaments in the Mahathir administration, Mr Tiong knew it was a genuine case that needs damage control quickly.


He rushed to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in an attempt to help a traveller from China. However, the minister’s visit to KLIA’s Terminal 1 on Thursday (June 29) went viral after news portal Bebas News reported that he barged into the restricted zone without a permit to free a Chinese national. It gave an impression that Tiong had abused his authority trying to rescue a Chinese national.

Malaysia KLIA Immigration

As it turned out, not only all Cabinet members have security passes which allow them to enter restricted areas at the KLIA, but the pro-active action of the tourism minister has exposed how the notorious immigration department solicited bribery in broad daylight. It was not true that he had breached security protocols, let alone bullied the immigration into freeing the Chinese traveller.


In fact, Minister Tiong understood the protocols too well that the first thing he did was to contact the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Together with the officers of the anti-graft agency as well as auxiliary policemen and security personnel from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the minister approached the immigration officers for explanations.


Apparently, a senior official of a Chinese government-owned TV station had arrived in Malaysia to pursue her PhD at a local university in Shah Alam and her personal assistant had accompanied her. However, while the senior official was allowed entry, her personal assistant was told there were discrepancies in her travel documents hence was detained.

Malaysia Corruption Bribery

It was a standard modus operandi by the Immigration Department to solicit money from foreign travellers. In order to gain entry, a “three-star” ranking immigration officer demanded RM3,000 bribes from the Chinese woman. Stunningly, the female tourist was also asked an additional RM3,000 if she wanted to return to the country of origin or re-enter Malaysia using a “special lane”, and RM12,000 for visa-processing fees.


Essentially, she needs to pay a whopping RM18,000 to gain entry into Malaysia as well as to return to China, without which she could be detained indefinitely – an intimidation and bullying tactic. Not only corruption has been committed, the cellphones of the women were seized by the immigration officers. Minister Tiong said – “What powers do they have to seize their phones?”


Hilariously, after being caught with its pants down, the immigration officers told the minister that the matter was a misunderstanding due to language barrier. Of course, it was a half-baked excuse that the corrupt agency will use whenever they are cornered. The tourism minister said – “The question is – why did they reject the translators provided by Malaysia Airport Holding Bhd (MAHB)?”

Tiong King Sing

Worse, Mr Tiong revealed – “I also received information that some officers simply interpret the laws as they like when on the ground. The woman in question, for example, was not given sufficient food during detention, which is against the law.” Clearly, the immigration has perfected the art of soliciting, intimidating, suppressing and abusing victims in the corruption process.


Ultimately, the Chinese traveller was allowed entry after Tiong’s intervention, suggesting that not only the female tourist had a complete set of documentation from the beginning, the immigration department has been targeting foreigners, especially from China, to solicit bribes. Imagine if she was not from the influential Chinese TV station, which enabled them to quickly seek help from Beijing.


While Immigration Director-General Ruslin Jusoh said “a thorough investigation covering all aspects connected to the incident will be carried out”, it’s a public knowledge that corruptions in the agency started all the way from the top to the lowest ranking officers. How do we know that the director-general did not get his fair of share of the looting all along? After all, the rot starts at the top.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport - KLIA

It was both disturbing and embarrassing to the Anwar administration when the minister said the corruption episode at the KLIA was the “fifth time” he had intervened in similar cases. But the damage could be more severe as the travellers have recorded all the conversations that transpired with the airport officials and intend to expose their unpleasant experience when they return to China.”


Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP, has every reason to be concerned over the “culture of corruption” that is threatening even the tourism industry. Malaysia is hoping the return of Chinese travellers will help boost its tourism industry, which is still struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The country is unlikely to achieve its already low target of 16 million tourist arrivals this year.


The tourism ministry is depending on China, which reopened its borders in January, to deliver 5 million visitors. Yet, despite having signed agreements with two Chinese tour agencies to bring 450,000 tourists from China, Malaysia saw only a trickle of Chinese tourists. Last year, the country recorded 10.07 million international tourist arrivals who spent RM28.2 billion (US$6.3 billion).

Coronavirus Temperature Measuring - KLIA Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Since 2012, China has been one of Malaysia’s biggest sources of tourists. Before the pandemic outbreak, China sent more travellers overseas than any other market – about 150 million Chinese tourists spending RM1,240.85 billion abroad in 2018. Malaysia attracted about 3.11 million Chinese tourists in 2019 – 12% of total tourist arrivals – and spent a total of RM15.3 billion.


Crucially, tourism’s contribution to Malaysia’s GDP was 6.5% in 2018 and 6.8% in 2019, higher than the average level of 4.4% in Asia Pacific. More importantly, tourism helped increase employment by 2.9% to 3.6 million people in 2019, which contributed 23.6% to total national employment. The country will lose at least RM30 billion in tourist dollars this year if it discriminates against visitors from China.


Therefore, it’s frustrated to see the clueless and incompetent Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution, one of the most trusted lieutenants of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, dragging his feet over corruption that existed in the Immigration Department for decades. PM Anwar, who has been screaming about fighting corruption, should sack the home minister for closing one eye over the agency under his boy.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and Wife Wan Azizah - Parliament

China, the world’s second largest economy, isn’t a country that Malaysian Government could belittle, let alone bully. Like the United States, the Chinese government has been demanding protection for its citizens. The latest drama saw the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia warning Anwar government to protect the rights and interests of its citizens while in the country.


In a statement on Saturday (July 1), the embassy said it was investigating the predicament involving its citizens at the KLIA. It also said – “The Chinese Embassy in Malaysia attaches great importance and makes every effort to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Malaysia,”


The corrupt practices by immigration officers handling foreign travellers entering Malaysia are so infamous that the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) reveals they had repetitively highlighted the misconduct to the authorities, but nothing was being done to fix the problem. Unless the government starts cleaning up the toxic department, Anwar’s corruption crackdown will be seen as merely empty rhetoric.

Immigration Department of Malaysia

Corruptions involving the Immigration Department are well documented. In April this year, two officers attached to the Malaysian Embassy in Bangladesh who were arrested by the MACC for receiving bribes were from the immigration. In March, five immigration officers were arrested for conspiring with a syndicate to smuggle illegal migrants from the Phillipines to Peninsular Malaysia.


Last month (June), an immigration officer was detained for receiving bribes from owners of entertainment centres, massage parlours, orchards, and lumber mills. The corruption in the department must be in a deplorable state that a tourism minister encroached the territory of the home ministry. Heck, it was so bad that an immigration officer at the Johor Bahru Urban Transformation Center (UTC) had openly asked for “cigarettes” as bribes to speed up passport application for a baby.


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I don’t think anyone should intervene or disturb the well-oiled or rather well-greased working of the immigration department. Even if the person looks an extra-large taiko figure straight out of a a movie about the Chinese mafia.

Corruption in Malaysia is something that absolutely shouldn’t be touched. No wan sensible especially those in the gomen should make any move against corruption, just the occasional noise about corruption is the limit on the subject. We have stuck to the occasional noise for over half a century now, and all has been fine. Even Anwar has been forever making all sorts of noise about corruption but nothing has happened. So, for wan thing, his noises about fighting the corruption of the Snake Pharaoh M for Memali Massacre Monster would end up anywhere, Anwar harped about such for umpteen decades now and we are yet to ever see even the cover of his multitude of dossiers against the old Snake.

I very much doubt anyone would ever see the toxic old Snake rot in jail for his corruption – and excesses. And abuse of power. I don’t expect Anwar would do anything about the old Snake.

Or genuinely wants to. If anything, Anwar could jolly well be as corrupt as the Memali Massacre Monster, just sayin’.

China is no longer a country to be messed about with. China looks after it’s citizens very well, most of us guaci-eaters have seen the well-organised and rapid evacuation of China’s citizens (and others) from Ukraine s) from Ukraine and Somalia. Can’t say same for our beloved country’s gomen and half-awake jobsworth. They don’t need President Xi to ask to speak to the head of our faltering “unity” gomen, a phone call from a mere consular functionary is enough, we have Uncle Taiko
rushed into action for the Chinese than he ever would for Malaysians.

The big Chinese movie mafia taiko lookalike knows where the money is – and that’s in the deep pockets of the Chinese who may come as tourists just to experience Malaysian corruption. There’s nothing wrong with that, money would still trickle down to our kuaci-eating wonders – after first passing through the expensive handbags of our gomen thieves.

Don’t think I am for one moment I am attacking corruption. Am not. I am one of those who sensibly believe without corruption, Malaysia won’t function – or even exist. So I think the immigration gestapo was doing right raising the GDP of the nation by running the racket to extort money from rich Chinese visitors.

Big Bintulu taiko-looking Uncle said that wasn’t the first time he’s saved money for the Chinese visitors. I wonder how many poor rich Chinese got fleeced by the immigration gestapo because they don’t know Bintulu Uncle who I think should be given a resident permit to live inside the airport. For sure, Bintulu Uncle will now be more famous in China than in Bintulu. Once he stopped speaking Chinese with his funny thick Foochow(?) accent, China should grant him honorary citizen status.

The utmost important thing now is for Anwar to admit Malaysia is wan corrupt sh*thole country, apologise, and take seriously strong measure to stop extortion on the Chinese or the wives of our corrupt politicians and civil servants won’t get the nicest handbags and more.

All corruption else necessary for Malaysia to function and even exist should not be touched.

“Why did they reject the translators provided by Malaysia Airport Holding Bhd (MAHB)?” The answer is obvious as their presence will allow a third party to hear their grievances which ran counter to the modus operandi of keeping the syndicate activity secret and making the victims vulnerable & stressful to ensure a high success rate.

Clean govt needed

I would like to symphatize with China regarding the ill
treatment of their citizen but I just cannot understand why they are protecting the worlds biggest crook and they are behaving like a nincompoop by not handing over the crook back to his country of origin

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