The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) Perak continues to tighten controls along the state coast especially at three hotspots to prevent the entry of illegal immigrants (PATI) including Rohingya refugees.
Director of APMM Perak, Maritime Captain Shahrizan Raman explained that surveillance is done along the state coast with periodic dispatch of assets daily besides the Malaysian Maritime Sea Monitoring System (SWASLA).
“Although no Rohingya refugee boats are detected along the state coast to date, we are constantly monitoring the coast to prevent the entry of illegal immigrants, especially in view of the current situation in Acheh (report on hundreds of Rohingya missing from a refugee camp in Indonesia),” he stated.
“APMM Perak has dispatched two patrol boats along the coast from Tanjung Piandang till Hutan Melintang which operates at intervals daily. Besides that, a speedboat is placed in ready mode for tasks,” he said when contacted today (January 31).
According to him, the three locations along the state coast, namely Hutan Melintang, Pantai Remis and Lekir are found to be hotspots as entry and exit routes for illegal immigrants from Indonesia.
He added it is due to the geographical location of the three spots which is open and near the coastal border: “Perak will become an alternative location to enter the country if the illegal immigrants fail to enter from Melaka and Selangor.
“We are constantly tightening controls and information from the SWASLA radar at Pulau Jarak is optimised to ensure that any findings of entry are inspected,” he highlighted.
It is also reported today that APMM focuses its surveillance on all types of boats passing the country’s coast from Indonesia.
APMM Director-General, Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som was quoted saying that the syndicates bringing in illegal immigrants into this country are believed to make use of fishing boats, small boats and barter trade boats.
According to him, among the tactics used by the syndicates from Indonesia and Malaysia is to bring in illegal immigrants including Rohingya refugees by loading them into small boats at the borders before bringing them to land.
On January 26, it was reported that hundreds of Rohingya refugees escaped from a makeshift camp at a vocational training centre in Lhokseumawe, Acheh to enter Malaysia.