Malaysia Sets Up New Border Security Task Force in Response to COVID-19

In response to an influx of illegal migration during the COVID-19 pandemic, in April 2020, the Malaysian government formed the National Task Force (NTF) to manage illegal entry to country. The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) was given the mandate to coordinate an integrated operation with other security enforcement agencies within the NTF. The main elements that drive this task force are the MAF, the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP), and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). Aside from the main three main security enforcement agencies, close cooperation and strong collaboration with other government agencies, such as the Malaysian Immigration Department, Royal Malaysian Customs, the Civil Defense Agency, the Ministry of Health, and the Malaysian Border Security Agency, have been implemented.

Malaysia is seen as an attractive destination for illegal immigrants in the region because of its effective control of the disease with its Movement Control Order (MCO) its effective healthcare system and expanding economy. As a predominantly Muslim nation It is especially attractive to especially for Rohingya immigrants fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

The purpose of the task force is to gather and share intelligence and to coordinate the efforts of the different agencies involved and identify the main routes and take action to stem the flow illegal border crossings.

Source: The