KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — DAP MP Teresa Kok today questioned the need for a special task force headed by some top department chiefs, simply to probe a procedural issue between the director-general of the Public Service Department (PSD) and a senior immigration officer, which resulted in a heated exchange between the two departments via official statements, recently.
In a statement, the Seputeh MP expressed surprise that four of the most important agencies in the country were roped in to be part of the investigation on the issue which happened on August 3, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
“I am surprised that the government will set up an investigation committee consisting of four heads of the most important government agencies to investigate the alleged incident involving the D-G of the PSD, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafiq Abdullah and an immigration officer at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) that was reported happened last August 3.
“The Cabinet does not need to establish a committee that contains the heads of the most important government agencies involving the Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, and consisting of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, the Auditor-General Datuk Seri Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid and the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Tan Sri Azam Baki.
Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali yesterday announced that a committee has been set up to investigate the incident involving the two civil servants, and that the committee chaired by Idris, will convene a meeting as soon as possible to conduct an investigation into the incident, national news agency Bernama reported.
In a statement, Mohd Zuki was reported saying that the committee would conduct a thorough investigation into the incident to give due judgment to both parties.
“I agree with the view of former diplomat Datuk Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin who is a member of G25 that the establishment of a special investigation committee consisting of the most important agency heads is indeed excessive or an ‘overkill’.
“Since the Chief Secretary Tan Sri Zuki said the result of the discussion and recommendations from the special investigation committee on this incident will be presented to the prime minister later, why didn't the prime minister call a meeting between the D-G and the Director-General of Immigration, and witnessed by the Chief Secretary, to find a solution to the matter improvement of immigration procedures against VIPs?” Kok questioned.
Kok said that the meeting chaired by the prime minister, would have saved time and energy for all parties, as the four heads of the government agencies involved in the special investigation “are indeed busy with their respective agency's affairs”, and do not need to be involved in the matter.
According to a statement by the Peninsular Malaysia Immigration Service Union, the KLIA immigration operations head was screamed at and ordered to “stand straight” in front of people by the D-G who was not explicitly named.
But the PSD denied the allegation, calling it baseless, malicious and intended to tarnish its reputation. In its statement, the PSD said that the D-G had berated the officer for not adhering to the stipulated practices and procedures on travellers leaving the country.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin stepped in last Thursday and said the Immigration Department has been instructed to conduct an investigation into the issue.