MIRI, Dec 20 – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Immigration Department collected revenue totalling RM3.9 billion for the period Jan 1 until Dec 1, this year. He said that judging from the collection made, he was confident that the achievement would continue to improve and had targeted a collection of RM4.2 billion for next year.
He said if the improved collection was maintained, he would support the payment of enforcement incentives amounting to RM200 per month for all the 12,685 Immigration Officers throughout the country. He said that the proposed enforcement incentive payment would result in a financial implication of RM30.4 million annually to the Public Service Department and the Finance Ministry.
“In appreciation to the Immigration Department, I am prepared to discuss with my deputies and the ministry’s secretary-general so that the enforcement allowance is paid to the Immigration Officers,” he said in a speech at the 2015 Immigration Day Celebration, here Saturday.
Also present were Sarawak’s Social Development Minister representing Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Deputy Home Ministers Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed and Masir Kujat, and the Director-General of Immigration Datuk Seri Mustafa Ibrahim.
Commenting further, Ahmad Zahid who is also the Home Minister, said that the Immigration Department was facing various challenges particularly in tackling issues concerning the illegal immigrants and also the enforcement to maintain the national security.
“I propose that the organisational structure of the Immigration Department is further empowered and strengthened by upgrading the whole establishment including the top management, divisional directors, state Immigration directors and the key personnel,” he said.
Meanwhile at the same function, Ahmad Zahid also announced the construction of the Immigration Department’s detention depot quarters in Semuja, Serian and the construction of Immigration Department’s Border Post in Ba’Kelalan, Lawas to improve the services of the Sarawak State Immigration Department.
Ahmad Zahid said RM60 million had been approved for the construction of the detention depot in Semuja and the project was expected to commence on May 30, 2016 while RM20 million had been approved for the construction of the security post in Ba’Kelalan.
“In order to maintain efforts to improve efficient and effective services to the people by the Sarawak Immigration Department, the department’s office in Sibu and Miri UTC (Urban Transformation Centre) will begin operations in 2016. In addition, operation hours at the Merapok and Sindumin will be extended from 10 pm to midnight,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said an additional 100 Immigration officers would be deployed to the state in an effort to enhance enforcement duty by the Sarawak Immigration Department. He said that the fifty personnel have already been deployed while the remaining personnel will be deployed next year. At the event, Ahmad Zahid also launched the Immigration Department’s Strategic Plan and the department’s Code of Ethics.