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Indonesia to impose tougher security checks for Malaysians, Singaporeans

/ 01:35 PM July 11, 2016
datuk seri anifah aman

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman. THE STAR ONLINE/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Reports that Malaysians will be subjected to more stringent checks at Indonesian airports seemed puzzling to most.

The Foreign Ministry said it would seek further clarification from its counterparts in Indonesia.

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“The Foreign Ministry has not been officially informed about the proposed implementation of these security checks,” Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said in a statement.

PT Angkasa Pura II, the company handling airports in Indonesia, had announced that screening of Ma­­lay­­­­­sians and Singaporeans would be stricter to prevent contraband, especially drugs, from being brought into the country.

Its managing director Budi Karya Sumadi, according to Indonesian media, claimed that drug smuggling into the country mostly involved Malaysians and Singaporeans.

In his statement, Anifah said that there had always been good cooperation between Malaysia and Indo­nesia in combating cross-border crimes including drug smuggling.

The threat of cross-border drug smuggling, he said, should continue to be handled jointly between the authorities of both countries.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed also said his ministry had not been informed about the matter.

“This announcement is a surprise to us especially when it is made by the company managing Indonesian airports,” he said.

From his own experience using their airports, Nur Jazlan said all passengers had to have their baggage scanned before exiting the Customs area.

“Since they want to do more screening, it is up to them because its their responsibility,” he said, adding however, that it was unfair to single out Malaysians.

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Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Hamzah Rahmat said he had no idea why Malaysians or Singaporeans were being singled out.

“Maybe we are the highest number in terms of arrival. I really don’t know,” he said, adding he had no complaints from Indonesian tourism players.

The increase in checks, he said, would not affect the number of Malaysians going to Indonesia.

“If we don’t bring in any illicit items, there is no need to worry. We have to respect the law of the country, just as we want others to respect our laws,” he said

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TAGS: Asia, Global Nation, Illegal Drugs, Immigration, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Smuggling
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