We don't know of airstrip, say Malaysian departments

PETALING JAYA - Both the Selangor Immigration and Customs depart­ments say they are unaware of the private airstrip in Hulu Bernam.

Officials said all airports providing services for aircraft to fly in and out of the country must have Immigration and Customs checkpoints.

An official from Selangor Customs said airport operators must first submit their applications to gazette such venues for approval by the department.

"Upon approval, checkpoints will be placed at such venues," he said, adding that the airstrip in Hulu Bernam was not on their list of gazetted airports.

A Selangor Immigration official said it was an offence under Sections 2 and 3 of the Passport Act for anyone to leave or enter the country without valid travel documents.

"It is a serious offence and the department will not compromise with those who flout the ruling. Furthermore, it will also cause a threat to the nation's security if planes are allowed to land without the knowledge of the authorities.

"We are concerned over the identities of those who have come in and gone out of such an airport," he said.

An offcial from the Department of Civil Aviation said the airstrip had been given approval based on the availability of air space.

He said it had landing and flying rights and this was done based on the air traffic space.

"Our jurisdiction only covers the control of air traffic," he said.