BINTULU: A permanent police station and more police personnel have been proposed for the fast-moving Samalaju Industrial Park here in order to provide rapid response should emergencies, like the recent violence between a number of workers, arose in future.
Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah said the request would be submitted to Bukit Aman for consideration because the park is not only huge but quite far from the town area.
Speaking to reporters after meeting various government agencies at Bintulu police headquarters here yesterday, Acryl Sani said currently the area was manned by only 15 policemen working on three shifts in a small temporary beat base.
“The number of officers we have there is not enough to cater to the needs of the people there and to reinforce security of that huge area.”
On the meeting, he said among the issues discussed were the fracas which erupted on July 15 at the workers camp due to simmering discontent among local and Indonesian workers over poor working and living conditions and preferential treatment given to workers from China.
The brawl started at about 5pm at the main entrance of the workers camp which could accommodate more than 4,000 workers when angry workers set upon the Chinese workers, leaving 11 of them and one local worker injured.
“I will be bringing several heads of departments to view the area for themselves so that they can better understand the nature and atmosphere of the area (park),” said Acryl Sani, who added that he would be going to Samalaju later to have a dialogue with the relevant groups.
Acryl Sani said since police managed to contain the situation and various quarters had proposed various measures to improve the situation he believed the recent ugly incident would not recur in future.
Among the measures discussed and agreed by the relevant agencies are to make sure that all foreign workers were properly registered and be given orientation courses so that they would better understand local traditions and cultures.
“The cultural aspect is very important because even a small issue can trigger a bombshell.”
On an unrelated matter, Acryl Sani pledged that his officers would investigate complaints raised by several groups against an oil palm plantation scheme in Sebauh.
Some residents claimed they were unhappy as the estate developer had treated them badly. In fact, one of the residents was beaten by a group of strangers recently for harvesting some fruit bunches.