By John Isaac
SARAWAKIANS must stop assisting and harbouring foreigners to work illegally in the state amid the current Covid-19 pandemic, said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) secretary-general Janang Bungsu today.
Pointing out that the Sarawak government cannot defend the border on its own, he said unscrupulous business entities should start realising that the illegal foreign worker issue “is more than just profit, and a question of human lives” particularly during this pandemic.
“Sarawak government cannot do it all on its own, the state and authorities need the cooperation from all parties. Politicians from all divides should work together,” he said in a statement as reported by Borneo Post.
The statement was issued in response to Democratic Action Party (DAP) Serian branch chairman Brolin Nicholsion’s recent remarks about the state having not done enough on Sarawak’s border control.
Janang felt that the DAP Serian chief, being a concerned Sarawakian, should urge his DAP Sarawakian MPs to bid for more allocation in Parliament to better protect the Sarawak/Kalimantan border spanning 1,032 kilometres (km).
“On the same token, the DAP Serian chairman should help to monitor, report and assist the authorities by reporting any suspicious activities or in the event he has any knowledge of new illegal routes being created near border town of Serian.”
According to the PRS leader, most parts of the Sarawak/Kalimantan border are covered by dense jungle, making monitoring difficult and detection challenging.
Janang said the authorities had thus far uncovered a total of 33 illegal routes into the state, and these routes had been fortified and monitored.
“Once any illegal routes are sealed, new ‘jalan tikus’ (illegal route) will be created in a jiffy by unscrupulous people to facilitate their illegal cross border activities.
“While decision has been made for the border to be sealed, (Deputy Chief Minister, PRS president and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee acting chairman) Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has never denied the difficulty in monitoring our porous border and has actually voiced his concern,” he added.