KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is in the midst of forming the Malaysian Defence Force (MDF), says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (pic).
"If the plan is approved by all Ministries, the Malaysian Civil Defence Department (JPAM) will be transformed into the Malaysian Defence Force," said Shahidan in Parliament.
He also said that the new MDF would be headed by a woman.
Shahidan was replying to a question by Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) on whether the civil defence was effective in stemming the flow of illegal immigrants into Sabah.
He added that at present, civil defence personnel were not directly involved in border patrol operations.
He said that they were mainly involved in social and welfare activities, although they helped to provide logistical assistance during national disaster operations.
Earlier, to a question by William Leong (PKR-Selayang), Shahidan said that the Government was mulling a proposal to allow Indonesians in the country illegally to return home without being prosecuted.
He said that since 2010, a total of 446 illegal Indonesian migrants had been rescued off Malaysian waters.
He added that 138 illegals have drowned, while 74 were reported missing.