Scramblers, ATVs, Drones Proposed For Sarawak Border Patrol

JAMES MASING

KUCHING: Scramblers or off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and high capacity drones are among the equipment to be procured by the Sarawak Border Security Committee (SBSC) for patrolling the state’s land border.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister II Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, who is also SBSC chairman, said that they would work together with the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to assist in funding the necessary equipment for enforcement agencies to aggressively monitor the border.

“It is crucial for Sarawak to beef up its border security measures in order to reduce the possible spread of the (COVID-19) virus and also to curb the problem of smuggling at the border,” he said in a statement issued at the end of the SBSC meeting today. 

According to him, a good telecommunication network should also be set up between the enforcement agencies’ border posts and their headquarters to facilitate information channelling of any undesirable activities at the border.

“In remote border posts like at Tapak Megah and Pandora (both located close to the Indonesia-Malaysia border in Kapit Division), the main concern is towards smuggling of goods or even drugs, and I suggest establishing ConnectMe broadband facilities for these posts,” he said.

Masing said at the height of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of illegal immigrants entering Sarawak was of grave concern as reports obtained from the relevant agencies revealed that 70 per cent of the virus cases were imported.

Besides strengthening security at the border, he said, efforts should also be turned towards tracking down those masterminding the entry of these illegal immigrants into the state.

“We need to nail down the mastermind and the tekong (human trafficker) in order to stop the infiltration of the illegal immigrants,” he added.