It has taken a crisis of titanic proportions to expose how embarrassingly inefficient Malaysia’s immigration authorities are.
Last Friday, rx it was revealed that the Immigration Department would have taken mere seconds to discover that two men using stolen passports were about to board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on March 8 if it had bothered to consult Interpol’s database.
The revelation, contained in a statement issued from Interpol headquarters in Lyon, disputed Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s assertion on Wednesday that the check would have been too cumbersome to be useful.
The statement said recent tests on the database showed that it took only a fifth of a second to reveal whether a passport was listed.
One may conclude from this revelation that Malaysia’s Immigration Department is far from being of a “world class” standard, as Zahid has maintained.
“Malaysia’s decision not to consult Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database cannot be defended by falsely blaming technology or Interpol,” the Interpol statement said.
“If there is any responsibility or blame for this failure, it rests solely with Malaysia’s Immigration Department.
“We remain ready, willing and able to help Malaysia better safeguard its citizens and visitors from those seeking to use stolen or fraudulently altered passports to board planes.”
Could it be because of the Immigration Department’s inefficiency that Al-Qaeda members were able to meet in Kuala Lumpur in 2000 to plan attacks on USS Cole and New York’s Twin Towers?
In any case, Zahid is accountable in the issue regarding MH370 and must now answer to the families of those on board the flight.
Published: Tuesday, 1 April, 2014, 7:57am