KUCHING, Nov 30: There is an urgency to build customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) posts at Tapak Megah and Long Singut in Ulu Baleh to prevent smuggling and illegal border crossings, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
“This crossing between Tapak Megah and Long Nawang is where smuggling of Malaysian goods are rampant. Subsidised goods like petrol, liquefied natural gas, sugar, flour and sugar passed through this crossing almost daily. The smuggling of these subsidised goods aren’t good for Malaysian taxpayers.
“It is so rampant that Indonesians in Long Nawang have this to say, ‘Pak, tubuh kami di Indonesia, tapi perut kami di Sarawak’ which literally means ‘our bodies may be in Indonesia but our stomach is in Sarawak’,” he pointed out in a statement issued today.
Masing warned that even though now it only involved smuggling activities, there would be risk of illegal immigrants considering Indonesia has decided to move its capital to East Kalimantan.
“Social problems will raise its ugly head. When the Javanese move to Kalimantan, there will be animosity between the Dayak population in Kalimantan and the Javanese immigrants. Those local ethnic groups in Kalimantan may be pushed to Sarawak.
“It had happened before when racial riots between Javanese and the Dayaks had taken place, and some of them had run across to Sarawak seeking sanctuary. Thus, border crossings at the Sarawak and Kalimantan and a few other places, are the most vulnerable points,” he emphasised.
As such Masing, who is also Baleh assemblyman, asserted that before such things happened, Sarawak must established the CIQ posts in the two areas.
“We must established CIQ posts at all these crossings and since Baleh area is the nearest to the Indonesia new administrative centre.
“I suggest that the CIQ posts at Tapak Megah and Long Singut, Ulu Baleh be established soonest. This will reduce the entry of illegal immigrants, among other things, from Kalimantan coming to Sarawak.
“Both Malaysian and Sarawak governments must take this matter very seriously. It is not wise to wait till it rains before we build our house. We must be on alert and be prepared,” he stressed.
Masing and his entourage, consisting of 100 government officers from relevant agencies such as State Security Council and Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (Jupem) which is an agency that handles the international boundary with Indonesia, visited Tapak Megah, Ulu Balui recently.
Tapak Megah is 21 km away from the Kalimantan border. And about 20 km from the border on the Kalimantan side, is Long Nawang with the population of about 5,000 people.— DayakDaily