Border posts to ramp up security

Masing (centre) at the briefing with the delegates from GOF. On his right is SAC Mancha.

KUCHING: Two permanent border posts will be established to fortify security at the Sarawak-Kalimantan border.

The posts will be located at Tapak Megah, some 20km from the border and Long Singut, which is 15km from the border, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.

“These border posts are not only used to stop infiltration from the Kalimantan side during Covid-19, but also to prevent smuggling, which is rampant at the moment.

“The other factor is security; the General Operations Force (GOF) post will guard three major hydroelectric plants (HEPs) – Bakun, Murum and Baleh,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Earlier, he received a briefing from Sarawak GOF commander SAC Mancha Ata on the establishment of the posts at his office in Kuching.

Masing, who is Baleh assemblyman, said the three dams – Bakun, Murum and Baleh –together produced 4,500MW of electricity and the power generated from it was critical to the economic development of Sarawak.

“Any closure of these dams due to sabotage or other means, will be disastrous to Sarawak.”

Masing said in future, GOF would establish a unit of specially trained personnel at each of the three dams.

“Sarawak is keen to have these assets well protected,” he said adding that with the upcoming Indonesia capital shift to Kalimantan, it highlighted the need to prevent any illegal border crossings.

“By 2026, the Indonesian administrative centre will move to Kalimantan, involving no less than 1.5 million people being situated closely to the Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA) area.”

Masing said since the border posts involved Malaysian security with Indonesia, the federal government should be actively involved in their establishment.

“Sarawak on the other hand will contribute as much as we can.”