Smuggling, illegal entry rampant at porous Malaysia-Thai border

The poor condition of the fence at the Malaysian side of the border in Bukit Kayu Hitam makes it easy for drug smugglers to enter. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
The poor condition of the fence at the Malaysian side of the border in Bukit Kayu Hitam makes it easy for drug smugglers to enter. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 ― Smuggling and trespassing activities are continuing at the at the Bukit Kayu Hitam border with Thailand despite attention on lax enforcement at the crossing last year, Berita Harian reported today.

The Malay daily said not only was there no improvement, but the situation appeared to be worsening with smugglers and undocumented migrants marking vulnerable points.

“If before only the fences were cut, but BH’s latest surveillance found that even the brick wall has a hole punched through and anyone can get through it,” the report said.

Those using vehicles to smuggle also have an “easy route” without having to go through the Customs, Quarantine and Immigrations Complex, it added.

BH said that it’s tour of nearby areas classified as “rat holes” used to trespass into the country, which were previously highlighted  by the media was also never repaired and is a preferred route for human traffickers on the Malaysia-Thailand border.

The report also quoted Malaysian Border Control Agency (Aksem) Commander for Kedah, Abd Latif Abdul Rahman saying that the agency’s officers have dutifully carried out patrols, blaming instead, residents around the plantation area for accommodating traffickers.

Abd Latif reportedly said that the fence and walls have been repaired many times, only to have it vandalised repeatedly.