KUCHING: A Sarawak Rangers battalion should be set up under the armed forces to guard the state’s borders, said Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said, the unit should comprise local Sarawakians who are trained and experienced in navigating the jungles in the state.
“We want the skills – jungle trekking, survivability, endurance which we know our people have. This doesn’t mean others are unqualified, we want those particular set of skills and them defending their own land.
“Maybe we can create a battalion of Rangers so that all the 1,100km of Sarawak border with Kalimatan can be manned,” he said when contacted on Saturday (Jan 23).
Wan Junaidi was responding to the proposal by Sarawak Community Policing Association (SCPA) to revive the unit to assist in patrolling the state’s border with Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister said the battalion must be placed under the command of the armed forces as Defence is under federal jurisdiction in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
He said, to produce a compelling proposal to the federal government to reactivate Sarawak Rangers, the state government can offer to build the infrastructure needed to facilitate the unit.
“For instance, now we do not have enough border posts, we don’t have enough place for these people to stay, there can be an arrangement to remedy that.
“Sarawak can (help them with that) and now federal can re-establish the Sarawak Rangers again. Border post can be shared between the military and police,” he said.
Wan Junaidi said while traditionally, the unit had also been stayed at longhouses, such
can be improved by the state government through its rural development agenda.
“We can improve the longhouse, provide them facilities as it is already in Sarawak’s agenda for rural areas,” he said.