Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 9th of May, 2014
On April 26th, 2013, amidst the 13th General Election’s campaign, Royal Malaysian Customs Deputy Director General II Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim was shot to death while on his way to work in Putrajaya. At that time, the Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar, was reported to have said “We cannot accept it when an enforcement officer becomes the victim. It is as though the culprits are challenging the authorities.” However, more than one year later, there has been no update in the investigation of his murder.
Last year, the son of Shaharuddin, said that he suspected his father’s murder was in connection with his investigation into a Langkawi based car smuggling syndicate. In August 2013, Mohd Akhtar Shaharuddin expressed his disappointed that 4 months after his father’s murder, the police had not made any progress in their investigation. Mohd Akhtar has indicated that as of the end of April, he has not received any calls from the police to inform him of the latest status of their investigation.
My office and the office of my colleagues, Teresa Kok, has received many complaints and reports from used car dealers who have bought cars from Langkawi with the proper customs and JPJ records only to find later that the customs records were faked. They found this out when they received letters from Customs asking them to pay for unpaid excise and import taxes amounting to tens of thousands of ringgit for each car. Some of these dealers have many of such cars which means that the amount owed to Customs can run up to hundreds of thousands of ringgit. These dealers have made police reports as well as reports to the MACC regarding their cases but to date, neither the police nor MACC have responded to them.
These are not isolated cases. The Customs department themselves made a statement on March 21, 2013, stating that “We have detected 368 vehicles originally registered in Langkawi and subsequently registered in Principal Customs Areas using suspected falsified custom declaration forms without payment of customs duties and taxes.”
Last week, some of these dealers, were given a 50% ‘discount’ by Customs for the unpaid duties and taxes or face the threat of having their cars confiscated. This is grossly unfair since it punishes the victims rather than going after the perpetrators of this fraud.
I call upon the Royal Malaysian Customs to not confiscate the vehicles of these car dealers until a comprehensive investigation by the police as well as by MACC is completed regarding these fake customs declaration forms.
In addition, I call upon the IGP, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, to be accountable to the family of the late Shaharuddin Ibrahim by leaving no stone unturned in the investigation into his murder and to give regular updates about this investigation to his family. Do not deprive “Mr Clean’s” family of the justice that is due to them.
As it is, it seems that the victims are the ones who are being punished or left in the dark while the criminals are allowed to walk free.