STRICT SCREENING PROCEDURES AND ENFORCEMENT OF LAW
AT AIRPORTS IN AUSTRALIA
Malaysians who are visiting Australia for various reasons – social, leisure or business trips – are reminded to observe the strict enforcement and implementation of Australian laws on child pornography as well as materials (audio and visual) which contain elements of extremism.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of Australia will conduct random checks at various points of entry on inbound tourists where the DIBP officers at the airports are given the general powers to examine goods carried by the passengers. The said powers include making copies of or taking extracts from documents in certain circumstances. Such vast powers are provided for under the Customs Act 1901.
There have been a number of cases reported in recent times where Malaysian tourists were detained at the airport following the discovery of the above-referred prohibited materials in their mobile phones. Child pornography would include actors or actresses who ‘’appear’’ to be below 18 years old and the breadth of the law would also include ‘’child exploitation material’’ and ‘’child abuse material’’. Meanwhile, matters pertaining to acts of violence or extremism are governed by various counter-terrorism laws. The most common offence would be possession of the heinous and barbaric act of beheading committed by some extremist groups in the Middle East as well as in a neighbouring country of Malaysia.
The circulation of the above-referred materials either intentionally or unintentionally is rampant in modern times following the wide use of social media such as WhatsApp etc. In this connection, Malaysians are strongly advised to delete those materials in their mobile phones or any other electronic devices to avoid unnecessary inconvenience at the airports or having to face the penalty setforth in the relevant laws of Australia.
Malaysian tourists are also advised to read carefully the Incoming Passenger Card or commonly referred to as landing card where you are obliged to make full and frank declaration of the goods / items carried in your luggage. Failure to do so may result in the confiscation of items not properly declared and/or fine.
Malaysian tourists are further advised to inform the nearest Malaysian diplomatic missions via email the details of their planned trips to Australia which may include names and passport numbers of the delegation, flight itinerary, address in Australia and more importantly contact numbers / mobile phones which are crucial in time of emergency.
In the event consular assistance is required, Malaysians can contact the nearest Malaysian diplomatic missions in Australia at the following addresses and contact numbers:
High Commission of Malaysia in Australia
7 Perth Avenue
Yarralumla ACT 2600
Tel : 61-2-61200 300 / 310 (office hours)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Consulate-General of Malaysia in Perth
252 Adelaide Terrace
Perth, WA 6000
Tel : 61-8-9225 7055 (office hours)
: 61-4-69780521(after working hours / weekends / public holidays)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Consulate-General of Malaysia in Melbourne
Level 1, No. 432 St. Kilda Road
Melbourne, Victoria 3004
Tel : 61-3-9573 5400 (office hours)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Consulate of Malaysia in Sydney
67 Victoria Road
Tel : 61-2-9327 7565 (office hours)
Email : email@example.com
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia
7 July 2016