The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) has revealed that it will equip its officers with body cameras later in June. Announced back in December by deputy finance minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah, the plan is intended to increase the integrity of the department, as well as vindicate Customs officers whom are often accused of corruption.
The department’s director-general Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir, said that the implementation will be done in stages nationwide, as it involves a large allocation. The first phase will involve more than 100 officers, including those on duty at KLIA and border crossing stations.
Shahar said in Parliament that as of September 2021, there were 2,518 cases of illicit cigarettes and alcohol being seized by Customs officers, with a total value of RM41.43 million. JKDM’s previous top officer, Paddy Abd Halim, said in 2019 that 80% of complaints received by the department was against its officers and personnel related to corruption.
It seems that law enforcement agencies are on a mission to clean up their image, including the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), which also announced to be working on a similar bodycam initiative. On that note, whether or not it works will depend on the authorities’ transparency with its recordings.