KUALA LUMPUR – The National Task Force (NTF), which implements Ops Benteng, is considering increasing the number of personnel at the Malaysia-Thailand border area by involving various other enforcement agencies, said Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the task given to the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), which protect the country’s border in the northern part, will be divided according to certain areas.
“Following the shootout incident at the Malaysia-Thailand border, which resulted in the death of a policeman from the General Operations Force (GOF) yesterday, Ops Benteng will involve comprehensive cooperation and no longer divide the area.
“Apart from that, to further increase control in the Malaysia-Thailand border area, we must also raise the number of personnel, whether from the MAF or PDRM,” he told the daily press conference on the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) development at the Defence Ministry here today.
Ismai Sabri said his ministry would discuss with the NTF so that what’s implemented in the Sabah Ops Benteng area, including in the peninsula and the west coast, could be mobilised in the northern area.
However, he said, the matter would be discussed under the NTF as it involved various uniformed units that would need to be coordinated.
Yesterday, Bernama reported that in the early morning incident, police corporal Baharuddin Ramli, 54, of the elite Senoi Praaq unit was killed and corporal Norihan a/l Tari, 39, was critically injured in a shootout with smugglers about 600 metres from the TS9 control post in Padang Besar, Perlis.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador was reported to have said that this was the first time such an incident had occurred at the border.
Previously, police had only heard the sound of gunfire directed at the Border Wall TS9 control post from the other side of the country. These gunshots were heard on Nov 12 and Nov 15.
Meanwhile, asked to comment on the cost of quarantine involved if members of the Malaysian Battalion (MALBATT) returned home for holiday, Ismail Sabri said the government would bear their quarantine cost.