Home Ministry identifies 37 illegal landing points in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Home Ministry has identified 37 landing points in 10 districts in Sabah which were used by illegal immigrants, said its minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.

He said the illegal landing points were identified during the Op Benteng COVID-19 operations, which were activated on March 21.

Hamzah said the entry points are located in 11 areas in Sandakan; five in Lahad Datu; four each in Tawau, Kudat and Beluran; three in Kunak; two each in Kota Marudu and Kinabatangan; and one each in Semporna and Pitas.

“The integrated operations were conducted by the National Task Force last April together with other agencies, led by the Chief of Defence Force, to stop the entry of illegal immigrants by strengthening the country’s border controls to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Surveillance was carried out in two locations: land border – rat tunnels and other areas used as landing points by illegal immigrants,” he said at a media conference after visiting the Manggatal Temporary Detention Centre here today.

On another matter, Hamzah said there are 14 physical projects in various phases of development in Sabah, which are part of the previous rolling plan costing RM1 billion.

He said this is in line with the ministry’s initiative to focus on upgrading, renovation and repair works on existing premises and facilities. One such project is the upgrading of Royal Malaysia Police facilities in Sabah with an allocation of almost RM13 million.

Last April, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin approved a RM150 million allocation under the Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package for upgrading works of all agencies under the ministry, and RM31 million of this is for Sabah, he said.

Hamzah was on a three-day working visit to the state beginning Friday.