Friday, September 30

Robert Lian: State to have three more detention centres


KUCHING: The State Immigration Department has acquired sites for the building of three additional detention centres in Limbang, Sibu and Bintulu.

Presently, there are two such centres – in Semuja, Serian and Bekenu, Miri.

Outgoing State Immigration director Datuk Robert Lian said the new detention centres were necessary to allow the state to be more prepared to face an anticipated increase in the number of illegal immigrants.

To better contain the influx of illegal immigrants, Robert said more control posts would also be set up along the border areas which are traditional entry points.

“A border control post has just been completed in Bario last month. There are also suggestions to build more control posts along these traditional entry points which are in existence since time memorial.

“It is also in the plan of State Immigration Department to build a control post at Ba Kelalan by year end.

“It is a project under 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP). But as 10MP is coming to an end, the project will spill over to 11MP.”

Apart from the traditional entry points of Ba Kelalan and Bario, Robert believed there was also a need to build more control posts at other traditional entry points.

“For example, Land Development Minister Tan Sri (Datuk Amar) Dr James Jemut Masing has brought up to my attention to build one at Long Singut at the upstream of Ulu Baleh where there is a traditional entry point.

“There is also suggestion to build one at Long Bunsang area near Bakun Dam and another one at Long Jaweh area, near Murum Dam.”

And to better equip immigration officers and staff, Robert has also planned for the setting up of an Immigration Academy in Miri.

“The site for the building of the Immigration Academy has been acquired. However, I will have to leave it to the younger people to implement it,” said Robert who will be retiring on July 20 after 18 years serving as state immigration director.