Special task force to traffickers: You shall not pass

PETALING JAYA: A special task force, comprising multiple enforcement agencies, has successfully been blocking routes used by illegal migrants and traffickers to enter the country, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Defence Minister noted that this was the first time such a task force was set up to block illegal avenues along the country’s porous sea and land borders.

The task force, comprising uniformed enforcement agencies, is lead by the Armed Forces.

“I have not made this public but we have already arrested those traffickers (tekong) who have tried to bring in migrants using these illegal routes, ” he said during his daily briefing on the conditional movement control order (MCO) yesterday.

Ismail Sabri said Malaysia had closed its borders to foreigners and having a family in the country was not an excuse for them to come.

Meanwhile, he said clusters of migrant workers with Covid-19 originated from outsiders.

“For example, in the case of the cluster of foreign workers in Rembau, a clerk from outside had visited them, probably on salary matters, and infected them, ” he said.

Ismail Sabri said construction workers in Setia Alam were found to be positive after their employer brought them for testing as part of the SOP before they could continue to work.

On Saturday, fifty-three foreign workers tested positive for Covid-19 at a factory in Pedas, Rembau. Seven more in the same cluster were Malaysians.

The Setia Alam cluster had 12 migrant workers testing positive.

Ismail Sabri said he would propose for migrant workers to have identification tags to show they had been screened and were Covid-19 free.

Under the conditional MCO, the government had made it compulsory for all migrant workers returning to work to undergo Covid-19 screening.

On another issue, Ismail Sabri said the enhanced MCO on the areas surrounding the Jalan Othman market would affect 2,900 people in business and residential premises.

“The government asked all residents to keep calm and extend their full cooperation.

“All residents will be screened and food packs will be distributed to the residents, ” he said.

Parts of Petaling Jaya Old Town have been put under enhanced MCO as of May 10 after the authorities found 26 Covid-19 positive cases involving market workers.

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