KUCHING: Border control and illegal entry by immigrants via rat trails (jalan tikus) are challenges for the state’s police force.
“These issues become a challenge for us due to the wide-stretch of the border between Sarawak and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
“If we want to close off the border entirely (100 percent), it is difficult to do so even though with the border control posts being manned by the General Operations Force (GOF) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF),” Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail said in an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune and its sister paper Suara Sarawak.
Other than illegal immigrants, the authorities have also managed to carry out arrests of local and foreign tekongs (agents) or human traffickers.
Aidi disclosed that from Jan to Mar this year, a total of 103 of such tekongs have been arrested – 27 locals and 76 foreigners. Last year, 204 tekongs comprising 49 locals and 155 foreigners, were arrested.
He also revealed that during the first three months of this year, some RM1.2 million worth of smuggled goods were confiscated compared to RM3.5 million for the whole of last year.
On racial and religious issues in Sarawak, Aidi noted that such issues were under control.
He assured that the police would take stern action against anyone creating religious or racial tension to prevent it from developing into social unrest.
“We are constantly monitoring the social media such as Facebook and in the event of religious or racial insults, we will take immediate action so that it does not prolong.
“So far, Sarawak is peaceful,” he said.