Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing gave the police in Sibu a pat on the back for arresting illegal rubber tappers from Indonesia employed by thugs to tap trees in gardens and estates that do not belong to them.
In a press statement received here yesterday, Tiong, who is also the youth chief of SPDP, said he had received good words about the police action from the people in Sibu after the police vowed an all out action against these criminals.
Sibu OCPD ACP Shafie Ismail had vowed last Thursday that he would not hesitate to use the Emergency Ordinance on these criminals when he commented on the arrest of 17 immigrants and three locals caught trespassing and tapping rubber illegally in Sungei Menyan and Sungei Bidut.
Tiong hoped the Sibu police would continue with the good work, and he called on the people, especially the rubber estate owners who were the victims, to work with the police in curbing this crime.
He agreed with the police that there were masterminds behind this operation, or else, he said the illegal tappers would not have been so daring to intrude into the plantations in broad daylight.
According to the police, Tiong said, some of the foreigners arrested in Sungei Bidut and Sungei Menyan had work permits.
The SPDP youth chief said this was a matter that must be seriously dealt with, and he hoped the police would track down the employers of these immigrants, adding that if the workers had gone missing or failed to turn up for work, the police or the Immigration Department should have such records.
He said this should be strictly checked to prevent the workers on the run ending up in crimes or being hired by local criminals.
“In such situation, there is no point just arresting and charging the foreign or local tappers while the masterminds run free.
“After these foreign workers had been arrested, the mastermind can still hire a new batch of workers to do the tapping.”
He said if there were loop-holes in the laws that prevented the enforcement officers from taking action in such a situation, the departments should voice out or make proposals for the laws to be amended.
When Shafie vowed the tough action last Thursday, he said they would record the statements of the illegal foreign workers detained last week.
“We want them to reveal the names of the masterminds.”
Once the police had got these names, Shafie said they would create case files against them before proceeding to arrest and detain them under the Emergency Ordinance.
Within the space of a year, the police in Sibu have arrested and exiled more than 20 gangsters and another seven for vehicle thefts.