Sarawak DCM says must do more to stop undocumented migrants from entering state

·2-min read
Foreign workers stay at home during the full movement control order June 2, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Foreign workers stay at home during the full movement control order June 2, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUCHING, June 16 — Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing today said the state government and enforcement agencies must come up with better solutions to curb the entry of undocumented migrants from Indonesia, who could be Covid-19 positive, into Sarawak.

He said sending them back to their country was not a sustainable solution.

“We catch them and we send them back but they seem to keep on coming back,” Masing, who is also the state border security committee chairman, said in a statement issued after the committee’s meeting here.

“Until and unless we can guard our rat trails or jalan tikus or seal them completely, repeated offenders will continue to cross our borders,” he lamented.

“These repeated offenders are from Kalimantan. Some come from as far as Java or Lombok and sending them back to Kalimantan is not a solution as they do not have anywhere else to stay there.

“And so they keep coming back, crossing the border through jalan tikus again and again,” he added.

He said the extension of Border Post operations will continue until the end of 2021 to control and curb the entries of undocumented migrants into Sarawak

Masing said he is concerned that the undocumented migrants could be carriers of Covid-19.

He said based on a briefing by the state Immigration director Datuk Ken Leben, a total of 292 operations have been conducted by his department including 29 in collaboration with the other authorities, from January to June 15 this year.

From the operations, 1,169 undocumented migrants were detained for various offences including illegal entry and overstaying.

He said nine employers and eight “tekongs” have also been charged.

The representatives from the police, General Operations Force, Immigration, military and health department attended the meeting.

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