PM rebukes immigration over tourist entry congestion

PUTRAJAYA, May 2 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today reprimanded the Immigration Department over congestion issues at the country’s borders, particularly in airports. 

Describing the rebuke as akin to ‘parental love’ to improve congestion issues at counters handling entry of tourists, the prime minister said tourists would not accept excuses for delays, and hoped the issue could be dealt with effectively. 

“Due to a sudden surge in the number of tourists, Malaysia has become a popular destination, with an increase of up to 80 per cent in the early months of this year, which undoubtedly puts pressure on agencies.

“Sometimes, our criticism is like showing affection to our children, so please do not take offence. In the spirit of this festive season, I seek forgiveness, maaf zahir dan batin, and I hope the Immigration Department will forgive (me),” he said.

Anwar said this at the Home Ministry’s (KDN) Aidilfitri celebration and the handover ceremony of the MCBA terms of reference here today. 

In his speech at the same event, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the Home Ministry acknowledged there is room for improvement.

He said KDN discusses the predicament almost every day to find solutions.

“I am confident that very soon, there will be some ‘game changer’ announcements that we will be making, aimed at facilitating arrivals so that travellers do not have to endure congestion.

“We acknowledge that there are limitations, but our determination is such that there is nothing that cannot be tried to find a way out.

“Continue the reminders Datuk Seri (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim), we do not take offence; instead, we see this as a challenge,” he said.