KL's airport immigration system sabotaged: DPM

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. PHOTO: THE STAR

IPOH • Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday he believed that the airport immigration security system has been sabotaged, according to Bernama news agency.

He told reporters in the Perak capital that several names had been identified and would be announced by him and the police soon.

Datuk Seri Zahid pointed to the note of caution issued by the Auditor-General's report on May 18 that said the system was unsatisfactory and its objectives not met, the national news agency said.

The Malaysian Immigration System (myIMMs) was developed to support the main operations of the Immigration Department.

"If the system is found to be faulty, action will be taken against the supplier. But if it is a case of 'human error', then a 'revisit' will be done on any operational approach involved," said Mr Zahid, who is also Home Minister.

According to the Auditor-General, the myIMMs biometric facility worth RM10.3 million (S$3.5 million) had been paid for and supplied, but it was not installed and used at the entrance gates to screen and identify foreigners as well as Malaysians, Bernama reported.

The comments by Mr Zahid came a few days after Deputy Home Minister Nuz Jazlan said his ministry is investigating the almost daily breakdown of the myIMMs at the country's main air travel gateway, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

He said there was a "high possibility" of collusion within the enforcement agencies to allow travellers to slip through security protocols.

This followed alarm over recent arrests involving a Sri Lankan and two Russians with terror links, as questions were raised over how they could enter Malaysia as the security system is linked to Interpol.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2016, with the headline 'KL's airport immigration system sabotaged: DPM'. Print Edition | Subscribe