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KUCHING, Dec 8: Since its establishment in 2009, the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) is starting to show its fruit particularly in the enforcement efforts of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK).
This was evident after statistics showed reduced cases of controlled items being smuggled out to neighbouring countries with cooperation from the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) manning the border, according to KPDNKK enforcement director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin.
He revealed that the Sarawak MAF this year up to now handled 10 smuggling cases with seized items valued at RM39,213, compared to last year with 11 cases with seized items valued at around RM44,836.
“The working relationship between KPDNKK and MAF as well as other agencies like the police, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and the Immigration Department through the NBOS is important because they are the agencies that are always at the border, as we KPDNKK cannot despatch our officers to the border all the times due to limited manpower.
“The MAF members manning the border can monitor people together with items being brought across the border. If they find anything illegal, they can intercept and make a citizen’s arrest on the defaulter and contact us if it is within our jurisdiction,” Mohd Roslan told reporters after officiating at the KPDNKK briefing to MAF members at the Penrissen Camp here today.
The briefing was to educate and inform MAF members who would be manning the border on what to look out for according to KPDNKK jurisdiction, and enable them to apprehend anyone attempting to smuggle out controlled items across the border.
Mohd Roslan explained that despite so, there were exceptional cases with people from neighbouring countries bringing small amounts of controlled items across the border for personal consumption.
He said they could bring across limited amounts of controlled items for their own use, but warned that if there are anything suspicious, they could be apprehended.
“We are aware of that (Indonesians bringing some controlled items across the border). But there are legal means to get supplies from Malaysia. Sellers of these controlled items can get import permits before getting supplies from Malaysia, so that they can sell them to the Indonesians across the border. The Indonesians should also go to authorised sellers.
“That is the law even in other countries. I urge the people to get their supplies legally,” Mohd Roslan advised.
Meanwhile, KPDNKK Sarawak enforcement director Abdul Hafidz Rahim said he had stationed some men at the Serikin border post as an early move to increase the ministry’s presence and strength to crackdown on smuggling of controlled items into neighbouring countries.
For other border posts, he said the ministry would need to evaluate if there are needs first, as currently KPDNKK does not have the manpower to be present at all border posts in the state.
“Besides there are other agencies that is already stationed there like the Immigration and Customs, and through the NBOS, they will inform us if there are cases involving our jurisdiction,” he said.
MAF Third Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Mohd Bustaman Mat Zin said the MAF in the state will continue to work closely with KPDNKK to monitor any smuggling activities involving controlled items at all times alongside the Customs and the Immigration departments.
He said the standard procedure would be, if they discovered anyone bringing these items across the border, they would apprehend the culprit and contact the police immediately.
“When we encountered such cases (people bringing controlled items across the border), we will first warn them to follow the legal way, or asked them to go back and return the items.
“I am aware that Indonesians living near the border can purchase some of these items at a certain quantity only for personal consumption. However we do not condone them bringing those items across the border through illegal roads (jalan tikus),” said Mohd Bustaman. — DayakDaily