KOTA BAHARU, April 4 – The National Security Council (NSC) has proposed an overall restructure to streamline the security and access system at the Malaysia-Thailand border in Kelantan to reduce smuggling activities in the area. Its secretary-general, Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad said the proposal on the restructuring, including the rebranding of the current border operations from ‘Ops Wawasan’ and ‘Ops Merpati’ to ‘Ops Batas, would be handed over to the National Planning Movement Committee next month for a decision.
He said 127.4km of the border from Pengkalan Kubor to Jeli was currently controlled by the Armed Forces, and as many as 120 illegal bases had been detected along Sungai Golok. He said the restructuring of border operations was among several proposals to be submitted at the State Security Committee meeting to curb all border-related issues such as smuggling of drugs, weapons, goods and human trafficking.
Meanwhile, on the misuse of privately-owned vans for commercial use, like ferrying tourists into Malaysia illegally, Alias said the Road Transport Department (RTD) had been authorised to check travel documents such as passport and border pass of the van driver and issue summonses. He said if the van driver refused to cooperate or comply with the regulations, including refusing to pay the compound, RTD could propose to the immigration department to blacklist the driver from entering the country.
Alias said this will be effective as of today. He told this to the reporters after chairing a state safety and security committee meeting here yesterday. In mid-March, the RTD summoned 17 van drivers who transported passengers from Thailand into Malaysia illegally, without the International Movement Permit and insurance coverage, through the border gate at Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas. The drivers mostly used Toyota Hiace vans to bring tourists to Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baharu.