KATHMANDU, June 26: Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is set to be charged with several counts of bribery in the foreign visa system (VLN) case, Malaysian media reported on Tuesday.
VLN is one of the several companies involved in visa processing of Malaysia-bound Nepali workers. Malaysia had outsourced the visa processing work to VLN Nepal, a subsidiary company of Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd, in November 2013. Since VLN started the visa processing work, the visa processing fee rocketed to Rs 3, 900 from Rs 700.
The Star online, a Malaysian news website, reported on Tuesday that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has received consent from the Attorney General’s Chambers to charge Hamidi.
“Dr Ahmad Zahid will face several charges in both courts under Section 16 (a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009 and Section 165 of the Penal Code,” the star said, quoting a statement on Tuesday (June 25).
Nepal government has long contested the legality of the VLN Nepal and three other outsourcing agencies which have been involved in various stage of visa processing like biometric screening, stamping hologram and security screening. Altogether, a Nepali worker has to pay Rs 18,000 to go to Malaysia.
Once considered the favorite work destination for Nepalis, Nepal has stopped sending workers to Malaysia citing exploitation of workers under various pretexts.