ZAHID: GO DIG­I­TAL TO CURB GRAFT

Em­brac­ing IT so­lu­tions can de­ter abuse of power, DPM tells Im­mi­gra­tion Dept

New Straits Times - - News - AZURA ABAS AND FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR PU­TRA­JAYA news@nst.com.my

THE Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment has been or­dered to in­crease the use of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy and on­line ser­vices in its daily op­er­a­tions.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi said yes­ter­day this was to make it more dif­fi­cult for cor­rup­tion to take root in the depart­ment.

He said the move would not only de­ter cor­rupt prac­tices among Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers, but also stake­hold­ers.

“It is not that we want to stop di­rect in­ter­ac­tion be­tween (the depart­ment) and cus­tomers.

“But there is a need to switch the way we are do­ing things from con­ven­tional to on­line, as not only is this easy and con­ve­nient, it can de­ter graft and abuse of power.

“For in­stance, the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment has im­ple­mented an on­line sys­tem for em­ploy­ers to reg­is­ter their il­le­gal for­eign work­ers. Of course, there are teething is­sues at the early stage, and this is in­evitable.

“(But) I see that (dig­i­tal) tech­nol­ogy can be an im­por­tant tool to com­bat cor­rup­tion,” he said at a cer­e­mony where Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment of­fi­cers took the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion’s (MACC) Cor­rup­tionFree Pledge.

Led by di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Seri Musta­far Ali, hun­dreds of Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers and staff took their oath be­fore Zahid and MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner (op­er­a­tions) Datuk Azam Baki.

The depart­ment’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives in other states and those posted abroad also took the oath, which was broad­cast live via Skype.

Zahid, who is also home min­is­ter, urged the depart­ment to not only take the pledge, but to trans­late the pledge into ac­tion.

“We have to con­stantly re­mind our­selves, my­self in­cluded, to say ‘no’ to cor­rup­tion.

“With strong com­mit­ment and high morals, this can be done.

“I know it is not easy due to many temp­ta­tions, but this can be done if we make it a cul­ture to re­ject cor­rup­tion,” he said.

Zahid also pledged to sup­port the depart­ment as long as its of­fi­cers con­tin­ued to show their com­mit­ment to fight­ing cor­rup­tion.

“Be­ing in the depart­ment, the of­fi­cers have to deal with var­i­ous par­ties, in­clud­ing con­trac­tors, ven­dors and sup­pli­ers.

“I urge the of­fi­cers not to be in­flu­enced by sweet talk and big of­fers, as this may be a trap. So don’t fall into their trap.”

On an­other mat­ter, Zahid lauded the depart­ment’s con­tin­u­ous op­er­a­tions to ar­rest il­le­gal im­mi­grants and er­rant em­ploy­ers.

He said, de­spite on­go­ing op­er­a­tions, there would al­ways be a neg­a­tive per­cep­tion of the gov­ern­ment and its agen­cies.

“For in­stance, even though the crime in­dex has de­creased, there is no in­crease in pos­i­tive per­cep­tion of the po­lice.

“I hope this won’t hap­pen to the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment and the MACC,” he said.

Zahid added that ef­forts to com­bat cor­rup­tion should not be left to MACC, as ev­ery party must play its part.

“We should also praise the MACC’s high com­mit­ment to ad­dress­ing cor­rup­tion in the public sec­tor, whether it in­volves small fish or big fish.

“We should also praise MACC’s ac­tions in restor­ing the peo­ple’s faith in the com­mis­sion,” he said.

BER­NAMA PIC

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi show­ing the cor­rup­tion-free pledge signed by Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Seri Musta­far Ali (left) in Pu­tra­jaya yes­ter­day. With them are Deputy Home Min­is­ter Datuk Nur Ja­zlan Mo­hamed (sec­ond from right) and MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner (op­er­a­tions) Datuk Azam Baki.

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