Are travellers queuing up for hours at KLIA after immigration officers started a Work to Rule protest?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Long Queues At KLIA Due To Immigration Work To Rule Protest!
People are sharing a video, claiming that it shows long queues at KLIA after immigration officers started a Work to Rule protest, over recent accusations of corruption!
In the 1 minute and 22 seconds long video, a foreign tourist is seen complaining that he had to spend 2 hours getting through immigration at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
After waiting in line for an hour, he was sent to an immigration office where he had to wait for another hour before he was questioned. Only after an extensive questioning was the tourist released with a 90-day pass.
No Evidence Long Queues At KLIA Are Due To Immigration Protest!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and social media platforms, and here are the reasons why!
Fact #1 : Fake News Is Based On Immigration Corruption Claims
First, I should point out that this fake news is based on the recent accusations of corruption involving immigration officers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Here is a quick recap.
On Thursday, 29 June 2023, two ladies arrived at KLIA from Shenzhen, China – a senior official of a Chinese government-owned TV station, and her personal assistant.
The senior official was duly cleared and allowed entry by the Immigration Department, but her personal assistant was denied entry, and allegedly told that there were discrepancies in her travel documents. The lady was allegedly told that she would need to pay several thousand ringgit to be allowed to enter Malaysia.
The Chinese TV official called up the consulate general of Malaysia in Guangzhou to seek help. The consulate general’s staff then contacted Malaysia Tourism Minister Tiong King Sing, who went to KLIA to investigate the matter. The personal assistant was later allowed to enter Malaysia, after the Minister intervened.
A day later, Tiong claimed that there was a “culture of corruption” within the Immigration Department’s handling of foreign visitors at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Tiong also said that he learnt that some immigration officers would demand up to RM3,000 to free tourists from detention, and he would be sending the information to the MACC.
Fact #2 : Unknown If Work To Rule Is Happening
I should also point out that the term, work to rule, refers to a situation where employees strictly follow their working hours, and do no more than the minimum required by their contract or job.
By that definition, it is unknown if any Immigration officer in KLIA is currently “protesting” through work to rule measures. They could simply be seen as doing their jobs, but nothing beyond that.
Fact #3 : Video Was Taken In May 2022
While it is impossible to know whether immigration officers are protesting through work to rule action, I can tell you that the viral video has absolutely nothing to do with the current controversy involving Malaysian Immigration officers at KLIA.
That’s because the video was originally taken in May 2022. The YouTuber in the video is called Ken Abroad, and he posted the video on 22 May 2023, with the title, “I Almost Got Denied Entry To Malaysia 🇲🇾“.
In the video, he detailed his journey from his home in Germany to Malaysia, via Turkey. When he landed in KLIA over a year ago, he spent more than 2 hours getting through immigration.
But notably – Ken Abroad was released without paying a single cent to immigration officers. Neither did he accuse them of corruption.
Fact #4 : Video Was Edited
The viral video originally had a long runtime of 15 minutes and 51 seconds, but was cropped to just 1 minute and 22 seconds.
Whoever cut this video to share on WhatsApp and social media platforms would obviously be aware that this was originally posted more than a year ago on YouTube.
Fact #5 : Complaints About KLIA Queues Are Perennial
Complaints about long queues at KLIA immigration are perennial. If you check social media, you can see people complaining about this months and years ago, even before the COVID-19 pandemic!
Such queues are also not limited to KLIA immigration counters. They have been documented in airports all over the world, especially in very busy airports (like Heathrow and LAX), and during busy times (when multiple flights land at around the same time).
Just because there is a queue at the immigration counters does not mean there is any industrial work to rule action going on. Often, it just means that there is a large number of people queuing up to get processed.
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