Systems must be made foolproof, not easily tampered with

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At the Immigration Department
Photograph: amdtaufik.com

Angry Malaysian wonders what kind of internal control system are in place to prevent falsification or tampering of data in computerised systems for cash collections.

I refer to the latest ‘wonder’ arising out of Malaysia – rouge immigration officers masterminded a scheme to issue receipts and collect payments from normal passport applicants and then change the status in the system later to OKU (people with disabilities) and pocket the fees received.

How on earth can you do this in any system and if so, was the system not properly designed – or purposely not properly designed?

Any good system including accounting packages should allow for amendments after the initial postings but the original postings will still show; you should not be able to erase them completely.

Obviously, like many such cases, this immigration payment collection and receipt issuance system was not designed with safeguards and perhaps not properly tested by experienced personnel including accountants and fraud detection experts to ensure no loopholes. Utterly and totally ridiculous.

Was there no reconciliation of the receipts issued, their running numbers and the total amount collected? Even the ice kacang stall owner in Damansara Uptown food court has a system to check on his personnel: he apparently tallies the numbers of plastic bowls used with the money collected to see if the stall staff are siphoning money.

I wonder how many such cases are going on elsewhere in Malaysia especially where different categories pay different rates.

Talking about systems, there has been a lot of discussion in the press about how the traffic summons system of the police, the Road Transport Department and the Land Transport Public Transport Commission (Spad) cannot ‘talk’ to one another.

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The problem should not be why the systems do not talk to one another. The issue is, why on earth are the systems different in the first place? All three traffic enforcers should be using a single system that allows the various users to log in or sign on. This is what it should have been if the system had been properly thought through in the first place.

This is a unique Malaysian feature where we have multiple agencies enforcing traffic-related laws. Most countries have only one sole authority: the traffic police.

Oh boy, now that I have suggested a single system, I am sure lights will be burning through the night as someone will be busy preparing a proposal to be submitted while rubbing his or her hands with glee.

Angry Malaysian is the pseudonym of an Aliran reader who is always angry because the bright future of Malaysia has been eroded by incompetence, nepotism, apathy, laziness, racism, double standards and arrogance.

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Thuraisingham Shan

This is the familiar Makaysiann syndrome- MAS Mana Ada Ststem