From: Daily Express (Malaysia)
Kota Belud: The Customs Department has been urged to look for the best way to disseminate information and educate local authorities (PBT) in the country so that they could complement Customs’ effort to combat smuggling activities.
Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said giving continuous information and education is vital so as to enable the PBTs to carry out enforcement exercises in risk areas that are entry points of illegal activities into the country.
He is optimistic that PBTs could assist the Customs in raising the public awareness on efforts and the importance of eradicating smuggling.
“I have asked the Deputy Director-General of Customs Datuk Matrang Suhaili to find the best approaches to provide such information and educating all PBTs in the nation,” he said.
The Kota Belud MP said this after opening a charity programme for Community 2013 by Customs at Kg.Kuala Abai, here, on Sunday.
Also present were Sabah Customs Director Datuk Dr Janathan Kandok and his deputy director (Enforcement and Compliance), Hamzah Sundang.
Abdul Rahman said the Customs has collected RM3.5 billion in cigarette taxes which contributed 11 per cent to the Customs revenue of RM32.3 billion.
However, he said, cigarette smuggling actives have caused the government to lose RM1.9 billion every year in unpaid taxes.
He said his ministry often instructs PBTs to always give emphasis to security issues when discharging their duties especially when facing smuggling activities.
“In Sabah, smuggling especially involving contraband cigarettes are still rampant and thus there is a need for PBTs to create a good networking with Customs to eliminate the illegal activity.
“PBTs can assist the Customs by enforcing their own by-laws so that action can be taken against those selling contraband cigarettes,” he said.