Wan Junaidi: General Operations Force personnel to help tighten state’s border areas
by Peter Boon, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on May 5, 2015, Tuesday
Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar
SIBU: Police are going to deploy General Operations Force (GOF) personnel to guard the borders, including at Ba Kelalan.
In disclosing this yesterday, Deputy Home Affairs Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this followed his discussion with the Commissioner of Police Dato Sri Muhammad Sabtu Osman on border security.
“I am studying and planning for the overall security of the border area, and this includes having additional CIQs (Custom, Immigration and Quarantine) along the 2,700km of Sarawak (1,950km) and Sabah (700km) border.
“This planning is made after getting inputs from the police and Immigration Department of both states,” Wan Junaidi told The Borneo Post.
The Santubong MP added: “I have discussed that with (Minister in Prime Minister’s Department) Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, under whose purview border security falls.
“I am also pushing for additional battalions of GOF in Sarawak to man strategic areas and border areas. I have briefed the chief minister on this planning. He is supportive and assured of the state’s support.”
Wan Junaidi was asked if the Home Affairs Ministry had any plans to mobilise Rela personnel to monitor illegal routes or ‘jalan tikus’ along porous borders in the country, such as Sarawak-Kalimantan border, to curb smuggling of subsidised goods and to prevent stolen vehicles making their way across the border.
He explained that Rela is a voluntary organisation, and it is not meant to be deployed in areas like border and security control. He pointed out that its members were not trained, equipped or legally backed up to perform such functions.
“Its functions are voluntary and generally doing support services in the community, where the unit is based.”
Recently, Ba Kelalan resident Tadam Arun claimed that a tar-sealed road built two years ago to Long Bawan had opened the floodgate for smuggled goods to flow across the border.
He further claimed the new road was also a boon for car thieves as they could now drive the stolen vehicles across the border.
According to Tadam, smuggling activities in the past were rampant but in small quantities, but with the good road, stolen vehicles of all makes, subsidised Malaysian goods like petrol, sugar, cooking oil, and even drugs had crossed the border freely.
Tadam also claimed lax control at the checkpoint being the reason smuggled goods and stolen vehicles could cross the border so easily.