KOTA KINABALU: Security forces have increased sea border patrols along Sabah’s south-western Tawau district to check on people trying the sneak into the state using jalan tikus (backdoor routes).
Sabah marine police chief Asst Comm Mohamad Pajeri Ali said patrols were also keeping an eye out for some Sabah tabligh members who are still in Indonesia following a cancelled tabligh gathering in Indonesia’s Sulawesi earlier in March.
“So far, those who have returned have been informing the National Security Council (NSC) if they intended to return via sea routes, ” he said.
ACP Pajeri said that once they were informed by the NSC, they would escort the boats ferrying to the Tawau jetty.
He said that they were not only watching for movement of people from the islands, but also keeping close tabs on those still in Indonesia who plan to return via Tawau.
"Some have returned on two occasions (earlier in March), ” he told reporters after holding an operational meeting between marine police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) here on Tuesday (March 31).
Some 24 Malaysians who were in Indonesia to attend the “Ijtimak world gathering” in Sulawesi have returned via sea routes to Tawau so far.
They are currently being quarantined at a centre in Tawau.
ACP Pajeri said the increased security was also to encourage anyone coming back to Sabah to use the Tawau CIQS jetty and not backdoor routes into the border district that neighbours Kalimantan in Indonesia.
He said since the movement control order (MCO) came into effect on Mar 18, there have been no reports of any groups trying to enter the state.
He said that marine police and MMEA were working closely to monitor maritime movements during the MCO.
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