KUCHING, April 28: PRS Youth calls on the Sarawak government to set up check points at all known “jalan tikus” (small trails used to cross the border illegally) in light of the spread of Covid-19.
“This is more urgent in view of the deadly Convid-19 pandemic that may cause more serious health catastrophes if inter-regional trespassers are not medically quarantined,” according to Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth Datuk Snowdan Lawan in a statement today.
He expressed belief that with assistance from locals staying along borders, any known “jalan tikus” should be immediately identified and guarded with permanent check points, to be manned by security and immigration personnel from both sides of the border.
“Thus far our surveillance is concentrated at the main check points in Badau, Lubok Antu, Tebedu-Entikong in Serian, Serikin in Bau and Biawak or Sematan in Lundu.
“Uncover as many rat trails (“jalan tikus”) as we possibly can such as those at Lachau and Rapak in Sri Aman division. Send patrol reinforcement before it’s too late.
“These trails should no longer be treated as ‘neighbourly visit routes’ that have no border checks, where immigration documents such as passports, temporary visit passes, medical assurance certificates and so forth are not needed for entry into Sarawak,” Snowdan asserted.
He opined that Sarawak should not be put at risk by illegal crossings through these “jalan tikus”.
“During this Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot take for granted that these trespassers are free from the disease without proper medical assurance papers and without going through quarantine facilities for diseases carried by human, animals or goods,” Snowdan pointed out.
Snowdan, who is Youth and Sports Assistant Minister, also advocated the urgency for both Malaysia and Indonesia to revisit the agreement to enforce a 500m buffer zone.
“It should be reinforced for more effective and improved border security for the two countries. For that matter, the federal government should provide the necessary funding to ensure sufficient equipment and personnel to secure not only Sarawak, but Malaysian borders,* Snowdan added.
He noted similar sentiments were expressed by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing recently.
Apart from Masing, Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had also made a public statement calling on both countries to observe the 500m buffer zone along the borders. — DayakDaily