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KUCHING, July 31: The State Security and Enforcement Unit, formerly known as State Security Unit, has been assisting state agencies on enforcement matters since 2017.
Its deputy director (enforcement), Dato Mohd Morshidi Mustapha, said the unit, which comes under the Chief Minister’s Office, has been in existence since 2002.
“In 2017, (the late) former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem strengthened it so that we can help in the fight against illegal logging.
“Previously, we only looked at the state’s security. Now we are looking at security and enforcement (of ordinances) of the state,” said Mohd Morshidi, when met at a briefing given by the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) at Menara Pelita here today.
Mohd Morshidi said the unit had recruited more personnel; they are now undergoing training and may start assisting state agencies with investigative work and enforcement matters beginning next month.
“We have established a good rapport with the Land and Survey (Department), especially in enforcement (of ordinances) on land issues.
“At the same time, we are assisting the Forestry Department with regards to illegal logging,” said Mohd Morshidi.
He admitted that under the Sarawak Land Code, for instance, only Land and Survey officers are authorised to carry out enforcement. His unit, however, would step in and do “coordinating enforcement work” instead by coordinating enforcement personnel such as the police and other local authorities so that investigative work on land matters may be executed effectively.
Meanwhile, NREB controller Dr Peter Sawal revealed that the unit was made up of former law enforcement officers, including ex-police officers who are experienced investigators and prosecutors.
“Particularly useful for NREB is the IP — investigative papers. When prosecuting, the IP must be complete; then we have a better chance of winning in court.
“They (unit) are the ones who can help us to see if the IP is complete or not or whether we have a case or not. Otherwise, we will have to take other lesser actions, such as giving them (the offenders) directives or just compound them.”
Peter said one of the roles of the unit was training new NREB enforcement officers. — DayakDaily