Customs Department’s target for VA programme within reach

Higher targets are also achievable via the usage of the department’s additional physical assets


FINANCE Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz has urged the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to mobilise machinery to achieve its target of RM1 to RM2 billion in the Voluntary Disclosure and Amnesty (VA) programme under the Budget 2022 by early this year.

Citing World Bank’s data from 2000 to 2019, he said containers docked in Malaysia’s ports have increased almost 500% to 26.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units from 4.6 million.

“This is a very encouraging achievement and reflects Malaysia’s position as one of the major trading nations in the region,” Tengku Zafrul said in his speech at the 40th World Customs Day 2022 yesterday.

However, he noted that there are challenges in terms of unpaid transhipment and import duty exemptions following the free trade agreements.

“But I am confident that Customs will be able to achieve better targets, especially when our country continues to record a trading volume that has jumped more than RM2 trillion for the first 11 months of 2021,” he said.

According to him, the total value of which RM1.1 trillion were from exports, while the remaining RM894 billion were from imports.

“With the world and national economies expected to continue to recover this year, this value is expected to continue to increase,” he expressed.

Tengku Zafrul is also confident that higher targets can be achieved with the use of Customs’ additional physical assets such as the latest modern scanners and speed patrol boats.

“I’m sure that Customs can also examine more strategically on its human capital assets, especially in terms of strategic direction to ensure the integrity of Customs in the long run, including management transformation,” he added.

Up until today, he said Customs have played a role as one of the agencies that drive government policies and initiatives.

“For example, Customs has made a significant contribution in realising the National Economic Recovery Plan. These include penalty remission, sales tax exemption, service tax, tourism tax and export duty,” he further said.

Earlier, Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) said the department’s revenue collection for 2021 has reached RM42.5 billion, surpassing the initial target of RM40 billion set by the Finance Ministry.

In his speech, Ismail Sabri also commended the department’s enforcement team for outstanding work when they busted an international drug ring and seized 16 tonnes of drugs worth RM5.2 billion.

“With such an outstanding performance, I am confident that the department will continue to move forward as economic frontliners capable of driving high quality and positive growth of the country’s GDP towards nurturing prosperity of Malaysian Family,” he said.

“Therefore, efforts of the World Customs Organisation through Customs in bringing to life the theme of the 40th International Customs Day celebration should be commended and continue to be implemented because this initiative is in line with the government’s aspiration to increase Malaysia’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking, which can catalyse foreign investment,” he said.

The PM also called for Customs’ employees to be equipped with digital technology, to adapt to the current everchanging data ecosystem.