Immigration Department to probe bullying claims by French researcher

Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department today said it would carry out an investigation into allegations of bullying by French researcher Sophie Lemiere at klia2 on Monday night.

It also said it would cooperate with the police in their investigations into the case after reports were lodged by Lemiere and the immigration officers who attended to her.

Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said it took the allegations against the department seriously.

“We will carry out a thorough probe to ascertain if our standard operating procedure (SOP) was complied with in this matter,” he said in a statement.

Describing the incident as a “misunderstanding”, Khairul Dzaimee said the immigration officers who attended to Lemiere when she arrived at klia2 found that her name was on the “suspicious list” (SL) of an enforcement agency.

He said the officers then brought her to the Immigration operations centre at the airport for further checks.

The officers contacted the enforcement agency for clarification, and Lemiere was later allowed to enter the country, Khairul Dzaimee said.

“As the director-general, I will make sure the department is always professional in carrying out its duties.

“At the same time, we will not compromise on any issue that can threaten our border security,” he said.

Malaysiakini had reported that Lemiere, an academic at the Ash Centre for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University, was here to attend a conference hosted by Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong.

Lemiere is the author of the book Illusions of Democracy: Malaysian Politics and People, published in 2017.