PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said his surprise visit to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) yesterday was aimed at raising the credibility and integrity of the Immigration Department (JIM) which is being publicly criticised.

Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Department’s monthly assembly here today, the prime minister said from his observation, the majority of the Immigration personnel at KLIA performed their duties well, and only a small handful were still with the old practices.

“We always say that one bad apple spoils the whole barrel...it is not right for us to give the general impression and perception (because of one bad apple) that the Immigration Department is flawed,“ he added.

Anwar was at KLIA for about 30 minutes and from the visit, he found the management and operation of the Customs Department and the Immigration Department under control and stated that appropriate action would be taken to improve the situation and resolve any problems.

Anwar said he found that only one of the seven luggage scanners operated by the Customs Department at KLIA was in operation and wanted the situation rectified immediately.

“I am also the Minister of Finance, and the Customs Department is under my responsibility. Does it need to wait for the minister to come only to know that the machines are damaged?

“If the cost is only a few million, we can approve it immediately and I believe that neither the KPPA (Director-General of Public Services Datuk Dr Zulkapli Mohamad) nor the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) will investigate (immediate approval) because the situation is urgent,” he said.

As such, the prime minister emphasised the need for the top officers to go down and see the department’s operation for themselves and not to make assumptions that everything was operating well.

“The aim is to improve, not to find fault or criticise,“ he added.

Meanwhile, Anwar said he received information that there were individuals eligible for citizenship being asked to pay a sum of money for the citizenship certificate and believed that the matter was being investigated.

“There have to be strong and decisive action, otherwise it will hurt the image of the (National Registration Department) administration,“ he said and expressed the need for all weaknesses to be rectified so that they would affect the image of the department, civil servants and the country. - Bernama