Hamzah: National Task Force to cease on June 30

PUTRAJAYA: Several special operations dedicated to preventing transborder crime will be reactivated when the National Task Force (NTF) ends on June 30 and its duties are handed back to agencies under the Home Ministry.

Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said they included Ops Gasak Laut and Ops Gasak Darat that were carried out in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone.

He said NTF was set up at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to curb the entry of undocumented migrants through Ops Benteng.

Due to the outbreak, the ministry needed support from other agencies to prevent illegal border crossings that could lead to more Covid-19 cases, he said, pointing out that checking on transborder crime had always been under the ministry’s purview.

“After the NTF’s duties end on June 30, the task to curb transborder crime will be done by our agencies again, back to pre-pandemic days,” he said after the ministry’s first gathering of the year.

To strengthen border control, the ministry is developing a blueprint for land border control and the National Border Control System.

The government has also approved an allocation to set up eight new posts for the General Operations Force – seven in Sarawak and one in Sabah – to boost the omnipresence of enforcement officers at the border areas.

To boost security in waters off Sabah, an initiative where resort operators appoint auxiliary police will be implemented.

Hamzah said for 2022, the ministry would be embarking on a campaign known as “Kita, Demi Negara” aimed at rallying society to be involved in looking after the safety of the country.

“By getting everyone to be involved and to work alongside the authorities, we hope to create greater love for the country and for everyone to shoulder together the task of looking after Malaysia,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is expected to launch the “Kita, Demi Negara” campaign in March.

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