PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has denied awarding a contract to a company based at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to handle travellers given the immigration department’s “Not to Land” (NTL) notice.
MAHB said the handling of NTL passengers falls under the purview of the respective airlines and the immigration department, as specified under the law.
It said the independent company tasked with handling NTL passengers at the airport was appointed by the KLIA Airline Operators Committee (AOC), a committee of 40 airline operators at KLIA and 26 associates, and not by MAHB.
“The appointment was agreed and endorsed by the immigration department. As the airport operator, MAHB provided a suitable space to facilitate the handling of NTL passengers while awaiting their return flights,” it said in a statement.
MAHB was responding to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Azam Baki, who said an agent who allegedly solicited a fee to help a Chinese national after she was denied entry into Malaysia is linked to a company based at the airport.
He said the company had been given a contract by MAHB to manage travellers slapped with the NTL notice since 2017.
MACC is tracking down the agent, who is believed to be a foreigner. Azam said MACC will also record a statement from the company in the near future.
He also said MACC must thoroughly investigate whether the contract given to this company is something that is allowed by the government.
Last Friday, tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing admitted to being in a commotion with immigration officers at KLIA Terminal 1 after he attempted to intervene in a case where a Chinese national was allegedly prohibited entry into Malaysia.
Tiong claimed his visit to the airport had exposed a “culture of corruption by a few officials and the chronic abuse of power”.
Yesterday, Azam said MACC had recorded statements from at least 14 individuals regarding the incident, including two women and eight immigration officers. He also confirmed that Tiong also had his statement recorded.
On Tuesday, an MACC source said the anti-graft agency was tracking down an individual who acted as an agent and allegedly solicited bribes amounting to RM18,000 to resolve such cases.