Indonesia seeks Sarawak’s help to deliver supplies to citizens along border

Tan Sri James Masing

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, May 11: The Indonesian government is requesting the Sarawak Government to supply goods to its citizens living along the border, reveals Deputy Chief Minster Tan Sri James Masing.

Masing, who is also the chairman of the state’s border security committee, revealed that the request was made through the Indonesian Consulate-General in Kuching to the Sarawak government recently.

“We had a meeting recently whereby the Indonesian Consul-General requested our assistance to supply goods to their citizens living along the border. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg agreed that we should assist in delivering the goods.

“Of course, this exercise will follow strict SOP (standard operating procedures) whereby we will just drop the goods at the three CIQs (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complexes) at Tebedu, Biawak and Lubok Antu,” Masing told DayakDaily at his office at Bangunan Baitulmakmur here today, adding that this is to minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19 infections.

He reiterated that the exercise is based on a G-to-G arrangement and that the goods delivered will be duly paid for by the Indonesian government.

“This arrangement is based on G-to-G as the Indonesian government is unable to deliver the goods to these settlements as they are too far from their major cities such as Pontianak and Samarinda,” he said.

On a related issue, Masing stressed that border security has been tightened since the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into effect on March 18.

“Our border (security) has been tightened with the deployment of 876 security personnel since MCO. That’s why there are no goods able to cross over the border.

“Additionally, we will deploy more security personnel if and when they are needed,” he added. — DayakDaily