KUCHING: Malaysian enforcement squads will further tighten border security to stop foreigners from entering the country through ‘lorong tikus’ (rat trails), said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Defence Minister said this was to ensure that the country would not see a new cluster imported as Malaysians continue to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“One of the worries of our people is about the entry of foreigners or parties outside of Malaysia. We have closed all borders and foreigners or parties are not allowed to enter Malaysia.
“But there were foreigners or parties who encroached the border through ‘lorong tikus’. Our enforcement and authorities will ensure that all ‘lorong tikus’, be it in the east cost (of Peninsular Malaysia) or the coast along Sabah and Sarawak.
“All the ‘lorong tikus’ will be closely monitored by all security agencies involved in it,” he told the daily update press conference in Putrajaya today.
Ismail Sabri said 84 individuals had been arrested for encroaching into the country since the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
He stressed that Malaysia aimed at avoiding seeing a new Covid-19 cluster and strengthening border security would certainly help towards this end.
“We do not want a new import cluster, which could happen, through (foreigners encroaching) ‘lorong tikus’. So all (security) agencies will strengthen border patrol and control along all identified ‘lorong tikus’,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said 131 Malaysians who recently returned to the country from abroad and had undergone the mandatory quarantine were found positive for Covid-19.
He said this indicated that the government had made a right decision in implementing mandatory quarantine for citizens who returned from overseas.
“It does help contain the spread of Covid-19 so as to avoid a new import cluster.
“Imagine if these 131 (Malaysians) were allowed to go home without the mandatory quarantine. I believe this would have created a new cluster, and they would spread the infection to not just their own families but also the society.
“Our action of implementing the mandatory quarantine is reasonable and adequate,” he added.