Media Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
Before Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing makes “outrageous” suggestion that will cost billions of public funds, maybe he should better understand the real situation on the ground and address immediate needs including adding additional guard post and integrating it with modern technology and more importantly addressing corruption even among the authorities.
Before he does a “Trump” which may cost billions to build a wall around the boders of Sarawak-Kalimantan, he should first address some of the real issues on the ground for the benefit of Sarawak in a long-term.
On the Indonesian side, there is actually more guard posts compared to us along the borders. We do need to erect more of such posts as well as integrating it with technology such as electronic monitoring via drone or camera etc. That will definitely require some investment but definitely not as much as building a “wall”
We also need to activate a “whole of government approach” or “whole of agency approach” when dealing with such a complicated issue, which means that the agencies cannot continue to work in silo, but must find better ways to collaborate and work together. This includes agencies such as immigration, army , customs..etc which will have to coordinate their efforts and even data sharing for a more comprehensive action on the border.
What is most important is that we need to ensure that our agencies has the highest level of integrity. A lot of issues happened when integrity is compromised and corruption take place. For example, until now there seems to be little progress in the case where an agent brought in and smuggled back 4 Indonesians that were tested positive for Covid-19.
There are strong concerns that such smugglers and human traffickers from Kalimantan in Indonesia may bring in more Covid-19 cases into Sarawak. In many cases, there are allegations that the authorities has some part to in whole syndicate and that is why we need to nip the problem in the bud and address this issue of integrity properly.
We do not want some bad apples to undermine all the efforts of all agencies involved.
Fact of the matter is, the Malaysian Armed Forces has maintained good relations with Tentera Nasional Indonesia(TNI). The long term solution to all these issues is to see the economy of Kalimantan grow in tandem with ours on Sarawak side to the level in which there is no more need to cross over to this side.
That is why Sarawak must look into building deeper ties that are mutually beneficial with Kalimantan. It is not easy but it is cheaper than building a road/wall that may cost billions. Plus it generates more goodwill between the two countries and thus generating better socio-enomic cooperation between the 2 regions.
That is why i urge both the Federal and Sarawak to better understand the situation on ground and properly address each issue at the core. The can be a bi-partisan committee where both the government and opposition are invited to the border to better understand the situation at the post together and lets us determine if there is a real need to “build a wall” at our borders.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching