PETALING JAYA: A senior Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) official has hit out at unscrupulous enforcement officers who use their positions to secure bribes from foreigners, saying the situation has become “increasingly chronic and worrying”.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya said a few law enforcers who lack integrity look upon the country’s numerous undocumented migrants, foreign workers and students as a “great opportunity” to solicit bribes from.
He said the MACC-led series of operations resulting in the arrest of human traffickers and online scam syndicates has proved the severity of the issue, which requires immediate action by the authorities.
“The level of corruption of law enforcement officers at the front line of national security is seen as increasingly chronic and worrying,” he said in a statement today.
“It’s sad and a bitter (pill) to swallow, but this is what foreigners often face. This is the reality that is happening, and it is damaging the country’s reputation.”
Ahmad said that while some corrupt practices are brushed off as “isolated incidents”, the reality is that Malaysians can no longer use such excuses to deny the greed displayed by certain law enforcement officers.
He provided several instances of corruption among enforcement officers, including the application for foreign worker quotas by companies.
In order to obtain these quotas, he said, some companies have had to pay bribes to ensure they can bring in a sufficient number of foreign workers.
He also noted how foreign worker agents make huge profits by charging various processing fees, including for visas and work permits.
Khusairi said corrupt law enforcement officers have also solicited bribes at the country’s borders to speed up the exit and entry processes for foreigners who overstay, or those involved in crimes, are blacklisted, or do not meet entry requirements.
He said corrupt officers also allow the misuse of foreign student visas for the purpose of working, doing business and engaging in immoral activities.
Some are also protecting prostitution activities, gambling syndicates, massage parlours, and Macau scam operators, who are mostly foreigners.
He said those who bring illegal migrants into the country, carry out illegal mining and fishing activities, or smuggle prohibited goods and controlled goods have also created platforms for corrupt officers to collect bribes on an ad-hoc or regular basis.
“The ‘Malaysia Boleh’ slogan is now cynically used to imply that all matters can be resolved by paying bribes,” he added.