KUALA LUMPUR: “Every minister has a VIP pass to enter prohibited areas at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA,” says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
Loke said that following allegation that Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing had entered the immigration counters at the airport recently to “rescue” a Chinese tourist who was detained upon entering the country.
Loke explained that ministers were allowed to enter the area even if there were not boarding a flight and as such there was no breach of security protocol.
He said, when he was at KLIA, he was accompanied by auxiliary officers and Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd. (MAHB) security personnel.
“Yesterday I was at the airport not to catch a flight but a flight launch. I entered the prohibited areas such as the departure hall and such,” news portal Malaysiakini reported.
Loke said that to reporters after chairing the Negri Sembilan DAP state committee meeting in its headquarters in Seremban, Saturday.
The minister was alleged to have breached the security protocols and stormed the immigration counter to “rescue tourists” as reported by a news portal that cited a source.
On another development, on Friday Tiong confirmed that he was the minister reported to have entered KLIA Terminal I’s arrival Hall.
He said, his visit was to expose corrupt activities at the country’s main gate and denied he was there to demand the authorities to release a female tourist from China.
Meanwhile the Immigration Services Union Peninsular Malaysia has slammed Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s allegation on a “culture of corruption” within the Immigration Department.
The union’s president, Khairil Niza Khairuddin said, Tiong’s statement was an attempt to create a diversion from more important issues and is baseless and lacked evidence.
“As a prominent figure, Tiong should respect the law and not interfere with civil servants carrying out their duties. If the allegation is true, he should have reported to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“The immigration on duty must have assessed the situation and took action based on regulations,” Khairil Niza said as reported by NST.