KUALA LUMPUR: Security control at gateways into the country has received the attention of the government in the tabling of Budget 2020 to ensure these strategic areas are not porous to smuggling activities while improving the integrity of security personnel on duty.
The agencies involved in control at border entry points such as the Immigration Department will be receiving allocations for 11,000 units of closed circuit television (CCTV) while the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) will get 20 units of cargo scanning machines to further improve efficiency.
Immigration director-general, Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the installation of more than 11,000 CCTV at country’s check points is an initiative to improve the integrity of the department’s officers on duty at such gateways.
“The Immigration Department is thankful to the government, especially the Finance Ministry for approving the allocation. The decision will obviously assist efforts to raise the level of integrity of Immigration officers,” he told Bernama.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in tabling Budget 2020, announced an allocation of RM50 million to the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) to improve detention procedures and facilities, especially the installation of 11,500 units of CCTV at police detention centres and immigration check points.
JKDM director-general Datuk Seri Paddy Abd Halim described the allocation for another 20 units of cargo scanning machines would help the department combat smuggling especially at country’s port entry points.
“The department has about 25 units of the scanners now and the new machines are a boon.
“Trade is increasing and with the acquisition of the sophisticated scanning machines with high technology would boost control at the country’s ports,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
When tabling Budget 2020 yesterday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government allocated RM235 million to acquire 20 more cargo scanners to be placed at all strategic port gateways in the country.
Meanwhile, Japan Tobacco International (JTI Malaysia) in a statement yesterday acknowledged the government’s move to acquire additional scanners in support of efforts to stamp out cigarette smuggling in Malaysia.
“Illegal cigarette sales in Malaysia have surpassed crisis levels and can be addressed by resolute enforcement.
“While we welcome the government’s allocation of RM235 million to purchase 20 additional cargo scanners to be placed at strategic ports of entry, it must be noted that eliminating smuggling completely will not be achievable so long as there are human elements that intervene into the proper enforcement of laws, “JTI Malaysia managing director, Cormac O’Rourke said.
He added, several key measures including the establishment of an independent body to lead a special task force on addressing illegal cigarette sales, a ban on transshipment of cigarettes and a further two-year moratorium on tobacco excise increase are needed in conjunction with enforcement if there is to be any improvement.
“We hope the government will now step up its enforcement efforts to put an end to smuggling once and for all and return the RM6 billion revenue loss to Malaysian taxpayers,” he added. — Bernama