LUNDU: A new border brigade will be formed to increase security along the 2,019km-long border between Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the 31st Border Brigade would increase combat readiness and complement the duties of infantry units in Sarawak and Sabah.
“The formation of the 31st Border Brigade is a historic matter.
“This will be the second such brigade in the country after the 30th Border Brigade stationed in the north of Peninsular Malaysia,” he said during a visit to the Malaysian Armed Forces and Indonesian Military (TNI) joint post at Biawak here yesterday.
Hishammuddin said his presence at the post together with senior officials of the ministry and Armed Forces top brass showed their political will to form the brigade.
The brigade, he said, would temporarily operate from Kem Muara Tuang in Kuching while awaiting the construction of its permanent base in Bintulu.
“I hope it will receive cooperation from the local community and relevant agencies.
“The effectiveness of the brigade will depend largely on our relationships at the grassroots level and with TNI and other security agencies.”
Its role would include controlling security along the border to prevent encroachment, smuggling and other criminal activities as well as assisting the police and local authorities in tackling threats and natural disasters, and maintaining public order.
Hishammuddin added that more border posts would be set up and army reservists recruited to strengthen Sarawak’s security.