The State Customs Department is giving more focus to improving its human resources and providing better and more customer-friendly services, said its Director Datuk Yusop Mansor. Yusop said the department is adopting a new concept in which all customers would be treated not just as clients but also as guests, where they will be given the best service and treatment possible. “Under this new concept, we term all those dealing with us as guests. It stresses on giving the best service and hospitality to our clients as if they are guests visiting our houses,” said Yusop. To enable the department to deliver this better service quality to the community, extensive training is being conducted for staff and officers to improve their knowledge in related disciplines, he said. “This year, our focus is to work on how we can better assist our customers, the private sector and business players, reduce their working process when dealing with us. We want to make it easier for them,” he told a press conference here yesterday. “The department is striving towards improving its delivery system to provide a faster, friendlier and more effective service,” he added. Yusop said that apart from providing business-friendly service, the department is also emphasizing on increasing awareness among the public on anti-smuggling activities. “Our focus is not to increase the number of cases detected and the amount of smuggled items confiscated. Our focus is not to catch criminals but to prevent the crime,” he said. He explained that the department is aiming not just to intensify the effort to combat smuggling but also to encourage the public to work together with the authority to curb the criminal activities. He said more preventative activities such as educating the public on the negative impact of smuggling on the State’s economy and how they, as the citizens of the State, are directly affected by it.. In addition, he said, the Department will continue improving its, intelligence to gather more accurate and reliable information on smuggling. He said focus will be given on breaking smuggling chain at its source and not just crippling its distribution end. At the same time, preventative operations to deter smuggling of contrabands, especially the critical items such as alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and drugs will be continued. Anti-smuggling activities will be strengthened with priority to be given to main ports in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau. Monitoring of other main entry points, both on land and at sea would also be intensified. “Effort to intercept delivery of smuggled items will be continued and strengthened at all identified routes, including those used for bringing in contrabands from Labuan. “Sea operations would also be multiplied to detect and stop smuggling from the duty free island,” he said.