Immigration Department to prepare report on how 8 were stranded at KLIA

KOTA KINABALU - The Immigration Department will prepare a comprehensive report on how eight people of Middle Eastern origin - a family of six and two individuals - ended up stranded at the KLIA transit lounge for up to 54 days.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said department director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad would prepare the report.

He said a multi-agency approach was necessary in tackling the issue.

"A high level of coordination among agencies, such as the Immigration and Customs departments as well as Malaysia Airports Bhd - that operates the country's airports - is necessary to ensure the situation does not recur.

"If this problem is to be resolved by one agency, we will never get to the bottom of it," said Hishamuddin, who is also Defence Minister, after breaking fast with military personnel at the Fifth Brigade at the Lok Kawi camp near here yesterday.

Speaking to the military personnel earlier, he said the intrusion of Sulu gunmen in Lahad Datu and Semporna on Feb 9 served as a wake-up call to Malaysian security agencies.

The security agencies, he said, had learned to work more closely together to jointly tackle external threats.

"We simply cannot function in our individual silos or areas of responsibility," said Hishamuddin, adding that the setting up of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) would ensure continuous improvement in cooperation among security agencies.