KUCHING: The smuggling of illegal immigrants by locals into the state is against the law and could cause another Covid-19 outbreak, endangering the lives of the population.
“This is the ugly side of some of our people and it has been one of the problems that we need to focus and take care of,” said Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.
He expressed his agreement with Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s statement on illegal migrants entering the state without going through proper procedures.
Tiong also said, in a news article last Saturday (July 31) that without going through proper procedures or guidelines, the smuggling activities could cause another Covid-19 outbreak in Sarawak.
“I totally agree with what Tiong said and we all should not take this issue lightly as Covid-19 is still around, especially with the Delta variant that is very dangerous.
“It is a ‘time bomb’ and it can cause many people to be affected. When it is out of control, what will happen to our healthcare? We cannot cope with the situation,” said Dennis.
Apart from that, he added the authorities will have difficulties in tracking down the illegal immigrants.
“We have 2.8 million people here and it is very difficult for authorities or enforcement agencies to trace them,” he said.
Dennis said that to tackle the issue, the state needs to have enough enforcement personnel on the field to conduct daily patrols along the border.
The assemblyman also added that laws need to be amended in terms of penalties towards locals who aided or are involved in the smuggling of illegal immigrants.
“I agree with Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing’s suggestion to build roads along the border.
“This strategy could help to control our border, with enforcement agencies and the army conducting patrols.
“Laws on smuggling of illegal immigrants also need to be improved on, However, the smugglers have always been running from the law,” said Dennis.
He hoped that people would be more aware of this issue and support the state government’s efforts in handling it.
“I also urge the people to be careful and help by being the eyes and ears of the authorities,” he said.