GEORGE TOWN: Foreigners who faced problems with Immigration officers at the airport should lodge a complaint with the State Secretary’s Office.
Penang Immigration Department director Abdul Qadir Siddiq Ahmad said only after a complaint had been lodged would the department be able to start investigations.
“This is the right procedure to be followed before the Immigration Department can pursue any action.
“We will then form a special group comprising senior officers from all divisions in the department to investigate the complaint,” he said when contacted.
He was commenting on claims by State Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Develop-ment Committee chairman Lydia Ong Kok Fooi last Friday that Immigration and Customs officers at the Penang International Airport had behaved rudely towards several foreigners.
Ong said she and several other state exco members had received complaints, especially from investors from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who claimed that the officers were rude and unfriendly.
“Most of the complainants were women who had been asked to unpack their luggage and who had some of their items like chocolates and biscuits confiscated.
“There was even a Taiwanese investor who complained that an Immigration officer threw her passport to the ground and had interrogated her for an hour in a room with seven other male officers present,” she said.
Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo last Thursday had also highlighted the case of an Indonesian female tourist who was questioned by Immigration officials for more than an hour at the airport before her departure back to Medan.
Abdul Qadir said the officers were merely complying with the standard operating procedure (SOP) and the airport was under tight surveillance following the influx of illegal female workers.
“However, if there is any strong evidence of wrongdoing, punishment will be meted out in accordance with the General Orders against such unethical and rude officers,” he added.
SUMBER : The Star