This opinion alludes to the letter published in Borneo Bulletin entitled "Could fuel smuggling be run by organised syndicates?" by Pg Hj Abd Rahman Pg Hj Omar.
I agree that for fuel smugglers to amass B$1 million of 'profit' could only be attained by an organised local or international syndicate. Additionally, installation of CCTVs at border posts and your full-tank-solution are intriguing. Yet it is difficult for me to gather support for its implementation.
If there is a person on guard, how can we trust that person to not be a part of the syndicate? Even if he is trustworthy, how accurate can a person identify numerous licence plates crossing borders? In addition, we have to take account of how many CCTVs are needed and their positions. For the latter, even with less than a full tank, how do we determine that a person intends to smuggle fuel? However, this is not to say that I accede to the new ruling either. My resolution drifts off concentrating on a direct approach. Instead I consider the essence of it. In my eyes, this crime is a combination of an act of greed and abuse of privilege.
On July 10, 2012, anti-corruption agencies of Brunei and Malaysia strengthened ties to combat cross-border corruption and I believe this is a sustainable course.
For instance, since 2008 both agencies have detained 34 members of syndicates and enforcement officers from both borders.
The exchange of intelligence and security with Malaysia is crucial as regardless of our domestic policies, this situation involves both states. In essence, my suggestion considers external and internal.
Internationally the authorities should take account of the power of communication. Seminars on identifying 'smugglers characteristics' should be held for supervisors in respective countries, who will convey the knowledge to the rest of the staff With this, they should inform each other whenever any suspicious activities emerge.
For our own part, the officers in charge can hold weekly national anthems, prayer sessions to empower patriotic and ethical values. Alternatively we can incorporate the officers and the public by offering reasonable rewards for information on smugglers.
Furthermore I would welcome a monthly 'No Fuel Subsidy Day' to remind ourselves that fuel is Brunei's 'gold', gold is limited and expensive. Thus we must cherish it and utilise it wisely.
Consequently even if we do shut down this syndicate, if we do not change the current structure, future syndicates will arise.
Perhaps it is time for the ‘prominent' authorities to inspect the border post to make the officers realise the magnitude of this crime and remind them of other honourable ways of earning money. From an Islamic point of view, even a non-halal $1 million has no legitimate value over $1.