Leiking supports border wall idea on Sebatik island


PETALING JAYA: Sabah BN assemblyman Abdul Muis Picho’s suggestion that a concrete wall be put up along the international border in Pulau Sebatik, shared by Indonesia and Malaysia, should be considered.

Penampang MP Darell Leiking, who’s in favour of the suggestion by the Sebatik assemblyman, referred to a news report which alleged that “the border stone on Pulau Sebatik has been moved by Indonesia”.

“I am shocked,” he said in a statement which also referred to a report by Transmedia Indonesia on people smuggling into Malaysia. “There has been no word on the Transmedia report.”

Leiking said he was upset over the alleged action by Indonesia in Sebatik, adding however, that it is the Malaysian and Sabah governments which should feel embarrassed by the border stone being moved.

He reckons that Indonesia would not have been able to move the stone if the border had been secured.

“We should have outposts in strategic places, regular reconnaisance/surveillance and intelligence gathering,” Leiking said.

If villagers could argue and fight over a border stone being moved, what more in an area said to hold massive oil reserves, he asked.

He pointed out that security was one of the reasons cited in pushing for the Malaysia concept which saw Sabah and Sarawak in a Federation (from 1963) with Malaya under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

While Indonesia “may not be that hostile as a neighbour”, he agreed, the country cannot afford to wait for an incident to happen.

“The federal government claims it is spending billions of ringgit every year on defence. Where have all these monies gone?” Leiking asked.

“The porous nature of the border continues to be the reason for kidnappings, trespassing and encroachments in Sabah.”

Sebatik is an island located south of Tawau, and is partly within Indonesia and partly within Malaysia. It has an area of approximately 452.2 square kilometres.