PUTRAJAYA, Feb 26 — The country’s border control will continue to be given focus and will be strengthened this year through the transformation of its management and governance, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
He said border control was among the main focus of the Home Ministry (KDN) this year in line with its Strategic Plan 2021-2025 to preserve national security and order.
Hamzah said land and sea border management would be enhanced through a five-front approach namely the northern border of Kedah, the northern border of Kelantan, South, Sabah, and Sarawak.
“The requirements for the construction of security border fences, the use of the latest technology such as CCTV (closed-circuit television camera system), radar and drones and the construction of border posts are different according to the relevant front,” he said in a statement posted on its official website today.
Hamzah said this year KDN would also continue to strengthen its policies and legislation by conducting studies and implementing amendments on acts under its jurisdiction.
In an effort to eradicate drug and substance abuse, it would shift from prison sentences to drug treatment and rehabilitation programmes set last year that would be enhanced through the enactment of the Drug and Substance Abuse Act to replace the Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act 1983, he said.
He said the existing treatment approach and voluntary rehabilitation should be strengthened where improvements would be made through the Recovery Shift Module: A Voluntary Approach developed by the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK).
“With this new module, it is hoped that more drug addicts will come forward voluntarily to obtain rehabilitative treatment,” he said.
Hamzah said this year, KDN would enhance its digitisation efforts to improve the delivery of its services to the people.
According to him, the ministry has been tasked to lead the development of the National Digital Identity (IDN) initiative under the country’s Digital Economic Blueprint.
Hamzah said several initiatives had been implemented to preserve national security and order especially during the COVID-19 pandemic based on three fundamentals namely strengthening security and public order; enhancing border security, maritime areas, and entry points as well as bolstering institution and services.
One of the ministry’s milestones last year was the implementation of the Recalibration Plan for illegal immigrants involving the Return Calibration programme, where llegal immigrants were allowed to return to their country of origin voluntarily and Labour Recalibration programme, aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 infection, he said.
As of Dec 31, 2020, a total of 6,634 operations on illegal immigrants were carried out while a total of 22,522 illegal immigrants and 387 employers detained.
Throughout last year, he said the Immigration Department (JIM) had busted 11 syndicates related to illegal immigrants and cross-border crimes such as documentation forgery, fraud and misuse of passes, illegal agents and forgery of JIM security stamps and a total of 111 masterminds and syndicate members were detained.
As of Dec 31, 2020, KDN had issued 64,651 compounds, arrested 30,921 offenders that flouted the movement control orders implemented to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, where 23,012 cases were charged.
He also said that the ministry had set some important policies that seek to control the entry of foreigners such as ending the visa exemption facility for Chinese and Indian nationals as well as enforcing restrictions on the entry of tourists and foreigners from high-risk countries.