Sarawak arrests undocumented migrants over Covid-19 fears

Sulok Tawie
·2-min read
SDMC said swift action had to be taken to investigate and check the premises to contain the spread of the virus. — Screen capture via Google
SDMC said swift action had to be taken to investigate and check the premises to contain the spread of the virus. — Screen capture via Google

KUCHING, Oct 16 — A multi-agency Covid-19 special operation has arrested 25 undocumented migrant workers at a construction site at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) vicinity.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said in a statement late last night that the operation was carried out after two undocumented migrant workers were tested Covid-positive two days ago.

It said 150 personnel from SDMC, State Health Department, police, immigration and Construction Industry Development Board were involved in the operation which started about 3pm yesterday.

“All the workers were swabbed for Covid-19 and quarantined,” SDMC said.

SDMC said swift action had to be taken to investigate and check the premises to contain the spread of the virus.

It warned parties that break the law and the standard operating procedures will be investigated and action to be taken against them.

Separately, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian believed that the undocumented Indonesian workers were smuggled into the state by “irresponsible locals”.

“It is time to not just to arrest the foreigners but our own blacksheep Sarawakians, government officers and employers’ accomplices who have given honest Sarawakians a bad name,” he said on his Facebook.

He said these locals have put the lives of others at risk of getting infected with Covid-19 because of their irresponsible selfish action.

He said he wants all the costs of enforcement operations and medical expenses on the undocumented workers be charged to the employers rather than borne by the public.

He said the immediate actions now to curb the smuggling of Indonesian workers are to intensify border patrols and mount more roadblocks.

He said special operation will be carried at construction sites to look for undocumented migrant workers.

“We need every Sarawakian to be our eyes and ears, apart from the federal and Sarawak government agencies, on all these challenges so that we can truly protect Sarawak from the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

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