by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR FILE
THE Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) needs an additional 800 new personnel to deal with various issues and challenges at the 57 entry points in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub (picture) said the current 463 personnel were not sufficient to deal with various issues such as enforcement, smuggling of seed species and diseases.
“Nowadays, there are issues related to online purchases where goods (agricultural produce and agro-food) can get past manual operations and this will surely require more sophisticated expertise and equipment,” he told reporters after the Keramat Maqis launch and (corruption-free) pledge taking ceremony in Sepang yesterday.
Salahuddin said he would bring the issue on the need of more personnel to the Cabinet meeting and to the attention of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Keramat Maqis, which is uttered daily before the exchange of shifts, will serve as a reminder to members on the importance of maintaining integrity and not to commit wrongdoings while on duty, he said.