27 June 2019
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is accused of receiving the kickbacks amounting to $3million from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd, the contractor who managed the One Stop Centre in China and Overseas Visa System, in exchange for extending its contract. Ultra Kirana issues visas to Malaysia in countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc. This is a highly profitable business as the company imposes a hefty fee for the issue of the visas. The visas are issued on behalf of the immigration department. Privatising a critical public function, the country is unwittingly opening the gates of the country to terrorists and criminal elements. UKSB raked in $47 million between March 2016 and September this year, but not a single cent went into the government coffers. Private companies are not designed to look after national interest.
Zahid imposed a new ruling, which was enforced in November 2014, which required applicants of the foreign landing visa (VLN) to submit their forms to a one stop centre (OSC), which will charge $24 per head, in addition to $25 charged for VLN services. Another company linked to Zahid Hamidi and his cronies was appointed to carry out immigration security clearance (ISC) checks. The ISC company would charge $25 per head for identifying applicants who have been blacklisted from entering the country.
The role of companies providing VLN, OSC and ISC services was to receive the applications and forward them to the embassy. In the case of visa applications, the company just keys in the particulars of the applicants into a computer and forwards it to the embassy. It was a “clerical” job which required no special skills or technology.
Outsourcing of visa processing might lead to data leaks and corruptive practices of foreign staff. There is a great risk of passports and other personal information passing through outsourcing private companies.
Zahid, who is Umno president, has currently taken leave from party duties.
He has already been arraigned on 47 other charges, to which he has claimed trial — 27 for money laundering, 13 for criminal breach of trust and eight for corruption.
New Straits Times reported.