WITH 614,000km of shoreline, it is a challenge for the authorities to manage it, irrespective of the naval, maritime enforcement authority, the marine police and others to stamp out any infiltration by legal immigrants into the country.
Serious attention must be given to halt them as their health status is not known when the country is in difficult time to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Security measures at air, sea and land need to be tightened as to avoid the recurrence of a boat suspected of carrying 202 Rohingya refugees stranded at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Langkawi recently.
In order to step up security measures as a mean to break up the Covid-19 contagion among illegal immigrants and non-citizens, the government is urged to consider these options:
- Step up security coordination among enforcement units involving PDRM, the army, the maritime authority and the Immigration Department.
- Making use of unmanned surveillance aircraft (UAV) and drone to detect any form of infiltration at remote areas.
- Strengthening defense cooperation with neighboring nations like Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines to enhance patrolling at their respective border.
- The government can install healthcare equipment or any other devices to detect the spread of the pandemic from beyond our shores.
- The people must act as in assisting the government with information on any kind of foreign infiltration at their respective area as to contain the pandemic.
May efforts undertaken by the authorities in containing the spread of Covid-19 and cross-border activities be successful.
Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi