Masing: Committee to create legal mechanism to recruit foreign workers

Masing (3rd left) listens attentively as deputy Commissioner of Police Datuk Fisol Salleh (2nd left) gives the briefing during the meeting

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KUCHING, Feb 3: The Border Security Committee has been tasked to come up with a proper mechanism to recruit foreign workers for the various industries in Sarawak, said Border Security Committee Chairman Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

He hoped that once the mechanism is ready, he could then present it to the cabinet by March 2021.

“The Border Security Committee has been tasked to look at a mechanism in allowing legal foreign workers to come into Sarawak as high demand for foreign workers is one of the reasons for illegal immigrants in attempting to sneak into State.

“This team will also look into formulating a more structured policy so that these foreign workers can be allowed into Sarawak in a structured and safe manner. Like it or not, our industries in Sarawak do need their service,” said Masing after chairing the Border Security Committee Meeting at his office today.

He also warned that the government will not hesitate to take serious actions against those who are found guilty in harbouring especially the tekongs who are responsible for bringing illegal immigrants (PATI) to Sarawak.

“The main concern now is not only to ensure adequate and regular patrols at countless of jalan tikus or jalan gajah along the border but also the tekongs, employers or existing foreign workers who are found guilty of harbouring illegal immigrants will face heavy fines or punishment for the crime,” he asserted.

He added that there are also incidences of foreign workers who harbour illegal immigrants who happened to be their relatives or friends from hometowns.

Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Sarawak, added that roadblocks will be carried out to nab these culprits along with entry points such as Lundu, Serian, Bau, Biawak, Balai Ringin and Lubok Antu.

He stressed that a more collaborative effort will be made with the setting up of a joint task force involving the police, armed forces, Immigration Department, Road Transport Department and the Royal Customs Department, which will be chaired and coordinated by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development Sarawak Datu Safri Zainuddin. -DayakDaily