Masing: We are not heartless with illegals, but we care for our citizens

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Feb 19: The State government is not heartless in dealing with illegal immigrants (PATI) who sneaked into Sarawak via the porous border but it has to enforce stricter standard operating procedures (SOP) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

“Some people accused us of being heartless. But we have to take care of our people during this time. That’s why we have been very strict with the PATI (pendatang asing tanpa izin or illegal immigrants),” Masing told DayakDaily when contacted today.

Masing who is also chairman of the State Border Security disclosed that he planned to accompany Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to Lubok Antu border post next week but had to call off the trip due to the recent spike in the Covid-19 cases in the area.

“So far, we are satisfied with the enforcement along our border. Our security forces who have been stationed along the border have done a good job,” he said.

On another issue, Masing who is also Balleh assemblyman pointed out that the spike in the Covid-19 cases in Kapit was partly due to the better accessibility following the completion of the Sibu-Kapit Road recently.

“There are pros and cons of having accessibility. But then again, the road is a necessity. So we have to live it,” he said.

Masing said that the spike of Covid-19 cases in Kapit Division was also due to the people’s mobility that has triggered new clusters in Kapit.

“From what I know, the first Kapit cluster was originated from the Pasai Siong cluster. And the other cause is from an individual from Bintulu who went to see her relatives in Kapit,” he said. -DayakDaily