KUCHING: Sarawak needs to reinforce and intensify security along its border especially at ‘hot spots’ to prevent entry of illegal immigrants and to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“We must reinforce security measures at our borders, especially in hot spots like Bau, Lundu, Telok Melano, Biawak and Serikin,” said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing.
Masing, who is also chairman of the Sarawak Border Security Committee, was briefed by enforcement agencies on issues pertaining to entries into Sarawak via land border today (27 Jan).
“The security at these hot spots along the border with Kalimantan must be intensified, not only to address the issue of human trafficking and smuggling, but also to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“The border posts especially at Telok Melano, Biawak, Serian and Lubok Antu are in close proximity to villages on both sides, making it more accessible for illegal immigrants (Pati) to enter Sarawak,” he said.
He noted that they only needed to walk a few hundred metres and cross the border to enter the state.
“This is dangerous as they may bring in contrabands and worse, spread the virus.”
Masing reaffirmed that the government was giving top priority in providing the necessary equipment so that the relevant authorities could function at their best to safeguard the borders.
He mentioned that patrol vehicles like scramblers, All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Four-Wheel Drive (4×4) would be made available for the purpose.
He expressed concern that there were still many illegal immigrants especially in plantation areas in the state.
He also mentioned the need for basic telecommunication equipment especially in remote border posts like Tapak Megah, Rantau Pandora and Ba’Kelalan.
“I have already recommended installing solar-powered ConnectMe in these areas which are not reachable via telecommunication towers,” he said.