KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to stop playing “host” to illegal immigrants as it will send the wrong message, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said Malaysia had been treating illegal immigrants humanely.
“But we need them to know that they cannot be flooding our shores like this,” he told reporters yesterday at the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent headquarters.
Dr Wan Junaidi said a boat ferrying Myanmar and Bangladesh nationals had been turned away after they were provided with food and medicine.
He said the Federal Government had asked the Kelantan government for a stretch of the state land which borders Thailand so walls and a security fence could be built.
“I have visited the state and found that about 95km along the Sungai Golok-Thailand border does not have any security fence,” he said.
“It is very easy for those with no valid travel documents to enter Malaysia. Due to that, many illegal immigrants decide to come to Malaysia.
“Gone are the days when you can raise your hand and nod to the security officer to signal that you are crossing the border.”
Dr Wan Junaidi said the ministry would also approach the representatives of each state in the northern region to discuss installing security fences and walls.
“The enforcement of this move may hurt our tourism industry but it is time to put security first.
“We will also discuss with the Myanmar and Bangladesh embassies on this issue,” he said.