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KUCHING, Feb 23: Tapak Megah will be made a permanent border post with a strength of 26 enforcement personnel due to its close proximity to Long Nawang, an Indonesian village about 20km from the Sarawak-Indonesia border.
In announcing the plan, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said this has to be done in preparation for Indonesia moving its capital to Palangkaraya, Kalimantan.
“In five years from now, Indonesia will have its capital city moved to Palangkaraya, Kalimantan and this is close to Sarawak.
“Not only will Tapak Megah Forward Base further ensure the security of Sarawak but it will safeguard our gems, which are Bakun Dam, Murum Dam and Baleh Dam. The post at Sungai Tunoh will also assist in our border security control,” said Masing in a statement after a meeting with the Sarawak General Operations Force (PGA) Brigade Commander SAC Mancha Ata and PGA Sarawak Brigade Operation/Intelligence Staff Officer DSP Sahamran Ibrahim at his office here today.
Masing who is also the chairman of the Border Security Control Committee, was briefed during the meeting about the possibility of retaining JPG Op Awas Merirai Post, Op Benteng Tapak Megah dan Long Singut Post to tighten Sarawak’s border security control.
In view of the urgency to ensure border security, he said the Sarawak government has agreed to and allocated the required budget for the purchase of vehicles like ATVs and scramblers to navigate the rough terrain and also communication equipment to ensure continuous and uninterrupted transmission of information between the border posts and headquarters.
“As these are pertinent matters in guarding Malaysia’s border, it is only fair that the Sarawak government will seek reimbursement from Putrajaya for these expenses,” said Masing who is the Infrastructure and Port Development Minister.
PGA and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) have reported a stream of cases of unlawful entry of immigrants from Indonesia through Sarawak-Indonesian borders.
“Each day more than 10 PATIs (illegal immigrants) are caught trying to make their way into Sarawak. And we are not only worried about our borders being invaded by them but with the current situation with the pandemic, we are also worried about the spread of the (Covid-19) virus by these PATIs,” said Masing. — DayakDaily