Date of publication: Jan 27, 2014
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 003
Byline / Author: By Rizalman Hammim
SKUDAI: THE government will conduct a feasibility study to corporatise the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The prime minister said a decision on the matter would be made once the study, which was expected to take between three and four months, was completed.
Najib said the study would take into account problems faced by Customs personnel, including the issue of qualifications and staffing.
"I was made to understand that some personnel have been stuck at one position for too long because there are no vacancies for higher positions.
"There are also officers with Masters and doctorate qualifications who are not suitably rewarded.
"This will all be looked at in the study.
"Hopefully, the government will make a decision that will serve as motivation for all Customs personnel," said Najib in his speech at the 32nd World Customs Day celebrations at the Sultan Iskandar Hall in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia here yesterday.
Present were his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan and Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad.
In his speech, Najib also set a new revenue collection target of RM36 billion for the department for this year.
"Last year, the department collected RM33.126 billion, which is the highest in history.
"If the department can meet this year's target, the government will consider giving all Customs personnel incentives."
He also congratulated the department for confiscating 1,856.17kg of drugs worth RM118 million from entering the country last year.
"It had also seized RM646.52 million worth of goods with unpaid taxes totaling RM407.4 million last year."
Najib said he hoped the department would make the necessary preparations for the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April next year.
"Whenever we introduce a new system, there are bound to be some teething problems. I hope the department will take proactive measures to anticipate and overcome them.
"This is one of the ways to convince the people that the GST is a system that is good for everybody and a system that is fairer, more transparent and more efficient."