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Friday, June 30, 2023

Tiong says airport ‘visit’ exposed corruption


Tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing denied that he was attempting to help secure the release of a foreigner. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Tiong King Sing said his visit to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) had exposed alleged corrupt activities at the country’s main gateway.

The tourism, arts and culture minister also admitted being at the centre of a commotion at the airport recently.

“My presence uncovered a culture of corruption by a few officials and chronic abuse of power,” he said in a statement.

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He added that he would be providing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission with details.

Earlier today, transport minister Loke Siew Fook said airport authorities were investigating an incident involving a minister who had allegedly barged into the arrival hall without a pass to help a Chinese national who was being detained.

Bebas News reported that the minister allegedly caused a commotion by entering the international arrival hall to help a Chinese citizen who was denied entry into the country.

The minister then allegedly scolded KLIA auxiliary police and immigration officers while trying to help the Chinese national.

However, Tiong denied that he was attempting to help secure the release of the foreigner.

“I have no authority for that, and I would only damage my own reputation if I did so.”

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According to Tiong, immigration officers were charging as much as RM3,000 to release travellers they had detained.

“An additional RM3,000 is required if you want to return to your home country immediately through a ‘special route’ while RM12,000 is for the cost of processing a visa.

“I will raise this matter to the Cabinet, including the proposal to do away with the agent who handles foreign tourists who are refused entry into the country.

Tiong suggested that the matter be handled by the airline to prevent similar incidents from happening again. - FMT

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