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No Forgiveness For Cameron Highlands Flood Culprits

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PUTRAJAYA – “No forgiveness for you!”, was the stern warning given by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to illegal immigrants who encroached and politicians who protected the encroachment activity in Cameron Highlands to the extent of causing muddy floods and landslides last Wednesday.

The deputy prime minister said in a bid to combat the activity, which had been rampant of late, the government would launch an integrated operation involving several enforcement agencies to ensure that those culprits would be taken to justice.

“One of the causes of the problems (floods and landslides) is the lack of sternness in terms of legal action and enforcement against the culprits.

“So, we have decided that the government should take stern action on this matter and I have instructed that a massive operation be carried out to put an immediate stop on the problems.”

He said this to reporters after chairing the special meeting on flash floods and landslides in Cameron Highlands at the National Security Council’s operation room here today.

Muhyiddin said the operation would be carried out immediately as some of the culprits had challenged the government and law enforcement agencies to take action against them.

On the allegation that the encroachment activity of illegal immigrants was protected by certain ‘politicians’, he said it should not be an excuse for them to be spared from legal action.

“For me, politicians or non-politician, what’s important is that the environment should not be destroyed in an irresponsible manner by irresponsible quarters.

“We are not worried, we don’t care, we need to act against those who protected the encroachment activity. If they are found to be the masterminds, they will not escape the legal action,” he said.

The deputy prime minister said what was important for the government was to protect the environment and the safety of the people.

The muddy floods and landslides which occurred in Kampung Raja, Pekan Ringlet and the Bertam Valley in Cameron Highlands last Wednesday had claimed five lives and caused over 90 victims from 28 families to be evacuated to relief centre in Ringlet.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin also called on all relevant agencies to immediately discuss with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) about this matter because apart from Bangladeshis and Nepalese, there were over 4,000 Rohingya refugees with a UNHCR ID card in Cameron Highlands.

He said even though the refugees were protected by the UNHCR, they would not be spared from legal action if they were found to have violated the country’s law.

“I call on those agencies to discuss with the UNHCR on how to manage these refugees…we have to take action, no special treatment will be given to those who violate our law,” he said.

To ensure smooth running of the integrated operation involving the police, Immigration Department, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Armed Forces and General Operations Force, Muhyiddin also called on those agencies to submit an application for all requirements, including the setting up of a temporary detention centre for the immigrants pending deportation.

The deputy prime minister also instructed the Mineral and Geoscience Department to give extra focus on Cameron Highlands in the research on landslide-prone areas and to prepare a mitigation plan for villagers most likely to be affected.

He said although he did not fix any time frame for the preparation of the plan, he hoped it would provide detailed information about unstable and landslide-prone populated areas. – BERNAMA

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