PUTRAJAYA - The Home Ministry will not spare the rod for any agent who brings in foreign workers into the country illegally and Immigration officers who are in cahoots with them.
"It is high time that certain clauses were added in the Immigration Act - to cane agents and Immigration personnel for their misdeeds," said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Imposing fines had not been effective, he told reporters after launching Immigration Day at the department's headquarters here yesterday.
"We will propose caning to be added into the existing law.
"We will meet with legal advisers from the ministry and the department, as well as the Attorney-General's Chambers, this week to discuss the matter," he said.
"Immigration tops the list of 10 departments and agencies in a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission report (for wrongdoings) that was presented to the Cabinet recently," Dr Ahmad Zahid said.
"Based on confirmed reports and personnel charged, the Immigration department is the worst in terms of corruption, especially in matters involving illegal immigrants," he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said while the number of errant Immigration officers "seemed like isolated incidents", the action of a few would taint the entire department's image.
"We want a thorough clean-up of the department," he said.
"It is my responsibility to ensure the department is free of corrupt personnel and officers," he said, warning that the guilty would be sacked.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said for every 10 legal foreigners, there were 30 illegals before the 6P crackdown nationwide, referring to the "whitening" exercise that started in October 2011.
"The ratio now is 30:10," he added.
At yesterday's event, Dr Ahmad Zahid unveiled a new look Malaysia-Thailand border pass, which both countries had agreed upon in February.
He said those eligible for the pass were Malaysians who were born or who had lived for more than a year in Kedah, Kelantan and Perlis as well as in the Hulu Perak district.
He added that the department did test runs on the pass at 19 checkpoints between Sept 2 and Sept 11.
The pass is available at RM10 and is valid for a year.