10 October 2009

Shameful Malaysian Customs Officers

My maid just came back from her Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays in her home in Jawa. She came back via an Air Asia flight and arrived at the LCCT in Sepang.

Her flight arrived on time at 1230 and she was supposed to catch the 1400 bus directly back to our city. But she was held back at customs for more than an hour, causing her to miss the bus. She had to catch the 1600 bus instead.

The delay at customs was due to the goods she had brought back - some salted eggs (she wanted to show our children Indonesian salted eggs which have pale blue shells); homemade sambal kacang (pounded peanuts with chilly and sugar); salak (Indonesian fruit from a palm tree); cooked tempeh (fermented soy bean cakes) and petai beans (bitter or stink beans - parkia speciosa).

When she passed through customs, the inspecting officers told her that all the goods she brought were not permitted to be brought into the country. But, they told my maid, if she lets them take some of the stuff, they would let her take the remaining things through. In full public view, my maid said they proceeded to help themselves to half of the above mentioned goods she had brought. To the extent that the lady customs officer brought out her tupperware and a spoon to scoop half of the homemade sambal that my maid had brought. As for the cooked tempeh, the same lady officer took a pinch out of it and pronounced to her male counterpart "Sedap!" Mahu?" ("It's delicious! Do you want some?")

Is this the way our Malaysian Customs Officers are trained? To "tax" goods by taking it for themselves, unashamedly in full public view? If it were truly not permitted to enter the country, then by all means confiscate the goods and destroy them.

Shame on our customs officers who behave in such an undignified, greedy and unprofessional manner.


  1. If this is true, you should forward this to the HQ of the Custom Department with a copy to the PM office.

  2. That's a disgusting attitude of the officers!

    I agree with Pak Idrus that you should file a complaint. Let's see what the Home Minister has to say about this. Will the Ministry take appropriate action or sweep it under the carpet like so many thousand of issues?

    But honestly, for those businesses importing goods, it's an open secret that they have to 'maintain' the custom officers to get the goods out without 'problem'.

  3. This must be why Malaysia seems to be a convenient transit point for drugs, arms and ammunition. When there is so much of corruption in Malaysia, why should the poor officers at Customs be left out? They are living up to the true spirit of 1Malaysia - let us ALL be corrupt!

  4. Thanks for the comments. I have filed an e-aduan already. I'll keep you posted.

    Well Bnaipal, I do agree with the corruption that's going on in Malaysia. The rakyat is still hopeful that things will change for the better. That's why we vote. Every country has its weak points, including Australia :)

  5. oh my goodness. really disgusting. why on earth are they so greedy and shameless. i hope you'll get some response from the aduan :)

  6. write to the papers too. rant, rave and raise hell. i'll be cheering you on!

  7. Hi Bon. Sigh, I am losing a bit of that tough cookie go get them, raise awareness spirit. Gotta get it back...

  8. Biasala tu...my hubby deal with Kastam most of the time. Corrupt biasala

  9. hey they actually put up a banner warning against bringing such stuff in to malaysia which i didnt notice as well. a friend actually pointed out to me when we were travelling to bangkok recently,,n yea the banner was kinda big! but i reckon they should hv given out pamphlets or advertised on the airasia site or tv wat ever..dunno la cos i dun watch the national tv oso...hahaha

    anyways,,it was still very disgusting of them to sample the food in front of the passenger..this they got to learn from australian customs la..very pro with handling confisticated food!