'Military to play bigger border role' after graft revelation

'Military to play bigger border role' after graft revelation
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein

KUALA LUMPUR - The military will play a bigger role in border security following a news report claiming that 80 per cent of border security personnel were on the take from human trafficking syndicates.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the Cabinet at its meeting yesterday had directed the Armed Forces Chief to meet with the Inspector General of Police to discuss how the military could play a bigger role in securing the country's borders.

"I have no objections, and I told Zahid this in Cabinet today," Hisham­muddin told a media conference after chairing his ministry's post-Cabinet meeting yesterday.

He was commenting on Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's statement that the army should take over border security.

Hishammuddin said the military was now already involved in border security such as in undertaking patrols.

He said he had contacted his counterpart in Thailand to discuss how to make Malaysia's border with Thai­land more secure and safe and that new border security measures would be announced soon.

Asked whether he believed the news report frontpaged in an English language daily yesterday which quoted a purported Special Branch report saying that 80 per cent of border security personnel, most of whom are from Home Ministry agencies, were on the take, Hishammuddin said: "I am not sure about the report and I am not aware of it but all weaknesses that are identified will have to be overcome."

On whether he felt it was possible that such a big number of staff from agencies such as the police and immigration department could be bribed, Hishammuddin said there was always that possibility.

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