Op Jala to be launched to net illegal immigrants, reduce Covid-19 threat

The Tebedu border checkpoint. - file pic

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Dec 22: The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) is planning to launch Operation Jala soon to reinforce efforts to haul up illegal immigrants and stop them from entering Sarawak.

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that the committee’s decision was based on the threat posed by illegal immigrants to Sarawak especially during this Covid-19 pandemic period.

“We will announce the details of the operation including the timing of the start of the operation in the near future.

“Even though the situation in Sarawak is good at the moment, however we cannot be overconfident so we decided to take a more drastic approach in our attempt to reduce the number of illegal immigrants.

“This shows our commitment in ensuring Sarawak continues to be protected as we can see that this is problematic in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia,” he told a press conference to give Covid-19 updates here today.

This decision came after four illegal immigrants who tested positive for Covid-19 fled using a bus from Sibu to Serian but were caught in Entikong recently.

“But we don’t know, maybe this is the tip of the iceberg. We see from time to time there were illegal immigrants caught and tested positive (for Covid-19).

“They can be a big threat to us given the number of places they went to between arrival and time they were caught,” Uggah pointed out, referring to the four Indonesians caught recently as well as a past case in Sri Aman who had travelled to Mukah and Sibu prior to being detained.

As such, Uggah added that SDMC has discussed in length today on the need to strengthen efforts in trying to reduce, if not curb entirely, the number of illegal immigrants coming into Sarawak. — DayakDaily