PETALING JAYA: DAP’s Steven Sim says Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi failed to clear the air over the status of his aide also being the director of a company earning hundreds of millions of ringgit as an immigration contractor.
The Bukit Mertajam MP said, Zahid’s aide was appointed to assist the immigration department to manage the illegal migrants voluntary reparation programme and the illegal migrants rehiring programme.
“On Nov 20, in the Dewan Rakyat, I asked the home minister (Zahid) to state if there was a conflict of interest over his special officer Abdul Halim being given concessions for immigration jobs through the latter’s company Bukti Megah?
“Other than giving the programmes for which the company was hired, the home minister said it was responsible for guiding, advising and ensuring employers and illegal migrants to abide by the process and procedures set by the government,” Sim said in a statement today.
He added that anyone could see that the home minister did not address the key issue on the “conflict of interest”.
“I raised this question because Bukti Megah is a relatively new company, having started in April 2014. Yet, despite being a newcomer without experience, it was given an almost monopolistic role in several immigration jobs to deal with migrant workers.
“The fact that the home minister’s special officer is the owner of the company raises even further suspicion of abuse. The home minister missed the opportunity to clear his name in Parliament,” Sim said.
He added that with well-documented incidences of abuse of power and corruption in our immigration sector, Malaysians deserve to know why a new and inexperienced company was awarded immigration contracts worth hundreds of millions of ringgit.
“The home minister not only disrespected Parliament as a forum to be accountable and transparent on the government’s actions, he also missed the opportunity to clear himself and his special officer of the suspicion of abuse of power and corruption.
” I call upon the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate this matter,” he said.
Sim, who is also DAP Parliamentary Committee on Human Resources deputy spokesman, listed down two more sub-contracted work from the immigration department given to Bukti Megah.
“In the recent E-Kad registration conducted from February to June 2017, Bukti Megah was one of the three private companies appointed as super-agents to do rehiring. I have estimated that the four-month long exercise will earn these super-agents about RM500 million in revenue.
“Bukti Megah was also appointed a one-stop centre by the home ministry to process applications for migrant workers from Myanmar and with this lucrative contract as super-agent, it went on to establish 22 branches throughout Malaysia and one in Yangon, Myanmar,” he said.
He added that the Bukti Megah website states that since 2016, the company was also appointed to manage work permit for migrant workers from 15 source countries.
“Based on official statistics, there are about 127,705 migrant workers from Myanmar in Malaysia. That means Bukti Megah is set to receive hundreds of millions of ringgit in processing fees and the holding of charges and levies payable to the government.
“This is only in regards to workers from Myanmar and not counting workers from the other source countries.”