KUALA PERLIS – The presence of illegal immigrants from Bukit Malut, Langkawi as fishermen in the waters of Kuala Perlis, here, is causing anxiety among local residents when the ‘uninvited guests’ started to stay put here since lately.
Generally, local residents expressed worry of their safety, and if this situation was not curbed early, it would turn the fishing village here into an illegal immigrant transit centre similar to Bukit Malut, Langkawi.
A fisherman who only wanted to be known as Ramli, 53, said he feared that the residents would be facing many problems such as social ills and an illegal settlement, as had happened to local residents in Bukit Malut, if the situation was left unchecked.
“I am not happy if Kuala Perlis is turned into ‘Bukit Malut 2’ and becomes the focus of foreigners. I hope the authorities will quickly take firm action,” he told Bernama here Sept 3.
Meanwhile, Perlis police chief Datuk Surina Saad said the police detected the presence of the illegals in several areas around here since last year and would take firm action to prevent ‘Bukit Malut 2’ here.
“We have also detected 59 illegal jetties along the coast here which have become the entry ports for illegals from Bukit Malut who initially came here as fishermen but eventually stayed put,” she told reporters after visiting the Kuala Perlis coast.
“We hope the community will furnish the police with information before the situation worsens. We will encounter difficulties to control them, when the number of illegals increases. It is better if the matter is curbed early,” she said.
Subsequently, Surina said the police would increase patrols by Patrol Car Unit (MPV) and Motorcycle Patrol Unit (URB) who would gather information on the locations of the illegals and how they enter Kuala Perlis and leave before taking action.
Prior to this, the media reported that the National Security Council (MKN) had recommended to the Kedah government that the residents of the illegal settlement at Bukit Malut be relocated and the land be returned to their owners.
Prior to this, Bukit Malut was a transit point for illegals who built a settlement without the approvals of the local authority and the landowners.