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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, June 16: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing asserted that tackling illegal immigrants (PATI) in Sarawak was akin to playing a cat and mouse game, although there was a marked increase in the number of roadblock operations being conducted statewide.
He gathered that PATI from Indonesia who had been captured and deported kept coming back through the numerous “rat trails” along the Sarawak-Indonesia border.
“We need to find a solution to further curb this issue of PATIs entering Sarawak and what we are more concerned about is the report that a portion of these PATIs are repeat offenders.
“We catch them and we send them back but they seem to keep coming back.
“It is like a cat and mouse game that these irresponsible culprits are playing with us.
“Quite akin to the ‘catch me if you can’ syndrome.
“These PATIs enter Sarawak through the numerous jalan tikus (rat trails) along our border.
“Until and unless we can guard our jalan tikus or seal them off completely, repeat offenders will continue to cross our borders,” he said in a statement after chairing the fifth meeting on the security control committee here today.
Masing, who is also Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister, said those repeat offenders were from Kalimantan, Indonesia and some were from Java or Lombok.
He added that according to Sarawak Immigration director Datu Ken Leben, a total of 292 operations have been conducted by the department to combat the entry of PATI including 29 operations in collaboration with other authorities.
Masing noted that a total of 1,169 PATI were detained for various offences including illegal entry and overstaying.
He added that a total of nine employers and eight ‘tekongs’ have been charged.
Meanwhile, the updates on the border security control were given by the relevant enforcement agencies including from the General Operations Force (PGA), Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM), Armed Forces (ATM), Sarawak Medical Department as well as Residents from all divisions in Sarawak.
On another note, Masing also congratulated Mancha Ata for his appointment as the new Deputy Commissioner of Police Sarawak effective June 11 and expressed his gratitude to former Deputy Commissioner of Police Sarawak Dato Faisol Salleh who has been transferred to Penang recently. — DayakDaily