KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government’s commitment to allocate RM1bil for border infrastructure in Sabah and Sarawak is a good step towards strengthening the border security for both regions, says Kunak assemblyman Norazlinah Arif (pic).
She said the announcement made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on this matter recently, was very much welcomed and could tremendously improve the facilities and infrastructures in both Sabah and Sarawak.
She said it was also a commitment to ensure balanced and fair development among the member states of the country.
Norazlinah said with Indonesia’s new capital city in Kalimantan expected to fully come into operation soon, this RM1bil allocation would assist in the economic and social development of both Sabah and Sarawak.
“It also helps to boost security along the borders of Malaysia and Kalimantan,” she said in a statement, Tuesday (Jan 24).
The Parti Warisan Wanita chief said the issue of security and border control has been plaguing the minds of people in Sabah and Sarawak, as the matter was of critical importance for both states.
“With economic activities expected to spur at the border areas of Sabah and Sarawak, threats such as smuggling, human trafficking and other crimes could also increase,” said Norazlinah.
Therefore, efficient border control and infrastructures are needed to ensure safety and smooth commencement of economic and social activities in the areas involved, she said.
She said this was where the RM1bil comes to play, and it has to be fully utilised for this purpose.
Norazlinah said that there have been multiple encroachments along the coasts of Sabah and Sarawak, around the South China Sea and this matter has to be seriously looked into with government-to-government discussions held.
She said that the consistent encroachments of foreign vessels into Malaysian waters would give negative effects on the oil and gas, fishery and tourism industries of the country, especially Sabah and Sarawak.
“I hope the Federal Government will be more proactive and continue to be committed when it comes to the safety and sovereignty of our nation,” she added.
On Jan 20, Anwar said the Finance Ministry has given preliminary approval for an additional allocation of RM1bil for the commencement of work to upgrade the infrastructure and increase the capability of the Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS) Complex at Sarawak and Sabah borders.
Anwar said the approval was given following his recent discussion with Indonesian President Joko Widodo regarding the relocation of Indonesia’s capital to Nusantara, Kalimantan, which shares a border with the two Malaysian regions.
He said this at a press conference after chairing the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) Implementation Action Council meeting here on Friday (Jan 20).
He also said that the decision to give the additional allocation for the CIQS to improve security and increase its capability, as well as for other basic infrastructure such as roads was because Malaysia does not want to be seen as too obsolete.