No mercy for corrupt officers, says Customs chief

Subromaniam says he wants to prove he is the right man for the job. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Subromaniam says he wants to prove he is the right man for the job. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

PUTRAJAYA, June 30 — Corrupt Customs officers will be sacked as their chief, Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy, goes about cleaning up the department.

“Corruption is an issue. We are monitoring and working closely with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to address this problem,” Subromaniam, who celebrates 100 days as Customs director-general tomorrow, told Malay Mail.

He said the country loses billions of ringgit to corruption every year and drastic action must be taken against those involved in corruption.

“When you live in denial, you can’t stop the problem. As much as it pains me, we will soon see some of my officers facing corruption charges in court,” he said.

“It won’t matter what their rank is. If they are corrupt, they will brought to the courts and once found guilty, they will be booted out.”

Subromaniam said there are already a few officers under investigation who will be charged soon.

He said the Corruption Risk Management programme, initiated when he was appointed on March 24, is running smoothly with the completion of workshops.

“The programme is to help assess the standard operating procedures (SOPs) which are old. We hope to fix some of the loopholes,” he said.

“The recommendations presented in the workshops need to be put in place now because we cannot be running a department on SOPs that were introduced as far back as the Melaka sultanate!”

Subromaniam said 14,600 Customs officers have taken verbal and written pledges witnessed by MACC.

“This is another way to help ensure integrity is rooted in our officers. We are in the business of trust and without it we are nothing,” he said.

He said the system in place should be  watertight enough that officers who chose to practise corruption would not be able to no matter how hard they tried.

“This is how it should be. If officers fail us, the system should not,” said Subromaniam.

“I have given myself six months to ensure our system is upgraded and bulletproof.”

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