Thousands of unmonitored migrants in our midst


KUALA LUMPUR: A professor at the National Defence University revealed that an entry port along the west coast registers about 8,000 migrants a month entering the country.

But, he said, there was no monitoring of their whereabouts after that.

Lt Col (Retired) Prof Mohamed Ghani Mohamed Madersah said most of them were from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Myanmar, and that they went into the city centre.

“Some of the immigrants might not have money. They can even plant a bomb for money. We don’t monitor them,” he said.

He said the figures were furnished to him by staff working at the entry point.

However, he said, he could not reveal the location of the entry point yet as the research was still being carried out.

Ghani said the information collected was from only one entry point and “there are so many entry points into the country.”

He suggested that the authorities use robotic sensing cameras at different strategic points to monitor the movement of migrants.

The Mechanical Engineering expert said the robotic sensing cameras could collect facial recognition images of migrants.

He said by right there should be three layers of camera security. First, these should be placed at the entry point where biometric finger printing and facial recognition measures are carried out.

They should also be placed at public areas in railway stations, parks, mosques, temples and government agencies.

And as a third layer, the cameras could be placed at random areas.

“At present there is just biometric finger printing. But we do not know the whereabouts once they enter the country.

With the robotic sensing cameras, he said, the data could be shared with various enforcement agencies.

Ghani said there were a few robotic sensing cameras at present but these were not enough to identify the culprit in case of any IS attack.

He said the system, which is spearheaded by the Defence University, could also keep track of the movements by the migrants.

In November 2015, Human Resources Minister Richard Riot Jaem revealed that Malaysia’s migrant workforce, both legal and illegal, now numbered a worryingly high 6.7 million.

Out of this total, only 2.1 million possessed valid work permits and were registered with the Immigration Department, the minister had said.