625 foreign workers checked, 58 detained

KUCHING: As of today, 58 illegal foreign workers from Indonesia have been detained in Ops Jala operations.

Sarawak Security and Enforcement Unit deputy director Datuk Mohamad Morshidi Mustapha said the detainees were among 668 local and 625 foreign workers from Indonesia, Pakistan, India, the Philippines, China and Myanmar checked.

“To date, 22 construction sites and 14 coffee shops have been inspected around Kuching.

“Of the total foreigners, 58 were detained under Section 15 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), and are currently placed in quarantine centres,” he told the press at Baitul Makmur 2 Complex here today.

He said the detainees had undergone swab tests and had tested negative for Covid-19.

“They are still at the quarantine centres. The first swab tests were all negative and now we are waiting for the second swab tests,” he said, adding that the detainees would be handed over to the Immigration Department to be detained under the Immigration Act once they had completed their 14-day quarantine.

Morshidi said the Immigration Department is responsible for preparing temporary detention centres and the state government agreed to assist in building more.

“We have identified a few locations, which have been approved by the National Security Council (NSC), to become temporary detention centres for these immigrants.

“These locations are situated in Kuching, Sibu and Miri,” he said.

He also mentioned that a number of hotspots had been detected in areas throughout the state, particularly along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border.

He added that Ops Jala inspections are currently focused on construction sites while inspections at estates and farms would be carried out at a later date.

“We have identified the farms that will be raided, but at the moment, we are still concentrating on the construction sites. So far, we have inspected 22 construction sites around Kuching and will move to other parts in stages,” he said.

Morshidi also revealed that operations would be expanded to Sri Aman, Sarikei and Sibu in future.