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PUTRAJAYA: The Bill to establish the Malaysia Checkpoints and Border Agency (MCBA) is expected to be tabled in Parliament in July, said Home MInister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (pix).

He said the Home Minsitry (KDN) has received assurance and positive progress from the Attorney- General’s Chambers (AGC) to allow the Bill to be presented.

“The progress (of the Bill) is very good, and I received assurance from the AGC that the tabling schedule in July is achievable. It is reasonable to formalise MCBA as an entity,“ he said during a special meeting of the top management of KDN with media practitioners here today.

Also present was Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) Deputy Editor-in-Chief (News Service) Nasriah Darus.

MCBA is the frontline agency at the country’s entry points, including ports, responsible for providing border control services and conducting integrated and comprehensive inspections.

The implementation of MCBA is a national agenda aimed at strengthening three main aspects: improving the efficiency of service delivery at the country’s entry points, reducing national revenue leakage, and enhancing integrity among enforcement officers to control and conduct inspections on individuals, goods, vehicles, animals, and plants.

In the presentation of the 2024 Budget, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced the establishment of a single national border agency (SBA) as part of initiatives to strengthen the country’s defence and security preparedness.

So far, Saifuddin Nasution said the Public Service Department (JPA) has approved the staffing figures for MCBA, which is led by Datuk Seri Hazani Ghazali, and it is in the recruitment phase.

He said KDN was also given approval by the Cabinet last week to establish a steering and operations committee for MCBA.

“With that, we (KDN) will start by involving the relevant agencies, we will start with several initial agencies,“ he said.

Asked what was the assurance that MCBA will be a success, he said KDN has several successful modules, including the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM).

“We have successful modules, of course border control is much more complex... We do not want to see the failure of this initial attempt,“ he said.

Saifuddin Nasution was previously reported as saying that the SBA initiative was planned since 2018 to unify over 20 enforcement agencies at 141 entry points, including the Malaysian Immigration Department, the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department, and the Royal Malaysian Customs Department. -Bernama