The recent “Malaysian Minister of Tourism assists passenger claiming to be extorted and bribed at the airport” incident has sparked a lot of discussions. The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) has requested the Cabinet to establish an independent investigation committee to look into the matter and clarify the truth of the situation, as well as propose solutions. Simultaneously, during the investigation, the implicated officials to be suspended from their duties pending further inquiry; and to propose solutions that prioritize the interests of tourists and foreign traders to boost our country’s economy.
According to news reports, the actions of Tiong King Sing, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, assisting a China passenger who was allegedly harassed by immigration officers and claimed to have been extorted of nearly RM18,000, have generated various reactions. Among them, the UMNO Youth Chief demanded the resignation of Minister from his position, urging Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to dismiss him.
We call upon all parties to focus on exploring the root cause of the incident, which is the issue of corruption within our country’s immigration department. It is important not to view this matter through the narrow lens of ethnic relations and to avoid shifting the focus by reducing it to a conflict between the minister and the officials.
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of our country has been declining for three consecutive years, indicating a worsening perception of corruption. Prime Minister Anwar, upon taking office, expressed a strong stance against corruption and zero tolerance for such acts. The occurrence of corruption at the airport damages the country’s image and must be seriously addressed by the Cabinet to prevent negative impacts on the tourism industry, foreign traders, and the national economy.
Therefore, KLSCAH requests the Cabinet to establish an independent investigation committee to thoroughly examine the corruption phenomenon at the airport.
At the same time, KLSCAH believes that the immigration department’s enforcement should be geared towards professionalism to minimize the recurrence of corruption and abuse of power.
With the upcoming state elections, in order to prevent politicians from manipulating and inciting ethnic sentiments, thereby undermining racial harmony, KLSCAH urges the public to remain calm and wait for the outcome of the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. It is advised not to indiscriminately believe or disseminate unverified reports and news.