By Selangor Journal Staff
KUALA LUMPUR – Control will be tightened at VIP lanes in airports across the country, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
Stricter checks, including inspections by the Customs and Immigration departments, will be implemented at VIP lanes at all airports in the country to ensure the facility is not abused nationwide and to prevent VIPs, politicians and others from abusing their privileges .
“We need a tighter procedure to ensure not everyone can use the lane,” he said at a press conference after a meeting with Mavcom and the chief executive officers of Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, and Air Asia today.
“We will tighten control at the VIP lanes and place personnel there to conduct checks,” said Loke.
Loke claimed that under the previous administration those who used VIP lanes and rooms did not have to go through security or customs checks.
He was responding to a supplementary question from Pang Hok Liong (Labis-PH) in Parliament on Wednesday (Oct 17).
Pang had asked what was being done to curb instances of VIPs abusing the special lanes to smuggle money into the country.
He was referring to a recent report claiming that an agency related to the former Prime Minister’s Department had brought in RM49mil through VIP lanes.
Loke added that X-Ray scanning machines would also be placed at airports in stages beginning next year and passengers would no longer have to go through physical inspection.
“So, I call on the VIPs, including the Members of Parliament, to cooperate with the authorities at the airports. If there is a check or inspection, do not complain because it is a procedure and we have instructed that no one will be exempted. Whoever uses the special waiting room will also be required to go through checks according to procedure,” said Loke.
Last month, Datuk Shahul Hamid Abdul Rahim, the former head of Immigration operations at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), had said that it was a common practice among VIPs and senior officials, who travelled on private jets, to smuggle cash into the country.