New security sub-committee to enhance border security to prevent ‘import’ of Covid-19

Abang Johari (second left) at a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today (Mar 26, 2020). He was flanked by Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (left) and Tan Seri Dr James Jemut Masing (second right) and Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (right).

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Mar 26: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak will enhance its border control and monitor human traffic to prevent “import” of Covid-19 from Peninsular Malaysia as well as its neighbouring countries.

“We shall enhance our border control and monitor human traffic at our borders with the neighbouring countries to prevent ‘import’ of the coronavirus.

“If we abide strictly to the Movement Control Order, there is a good possibility that we can contain Covid-19, in view of the fact that Sarawak is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the South China Sea that should be the frontage to stop the chain of infection,” said Abang Johari in a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

To ensure effective control on border and human traffic with the ultimate aim to contain the import of Covid-19 cases, Abang Johari announced the formation of the Security sub-committee to be headed by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

Masing when contacted said the committee will meet tomorrow to discuss on how best to control human traffic between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, as well as between Sarawak and Kalimantan which share a border measuring more than 1,000 kilometres.

The meeting will be attended by the army, police and immigration personnel where discussions will focus on effective border control.

“Between Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, we have the South China Sea, so it would not be a problem.

“The problem now is the effective control along the 1,000 km long border with Indonesia. There are many ‘jalan tikus’ and we need to look into that to ensure effective border control,” said Masing who is also Port Development and Infrastructure Minister.

Since Mar 15, Covid-19 cases in Malaysia has spiked and there has been a daily increase of more than 100 cases per day.

While new cases continue to increase in Peninsular Malaysia, from Mar 21, Sarawak has been showing a downward trend in the number of new cases and for the last two days, the curve has been plateauing. —DayakDaily