INDONESIAN authorities are planning to enforce stricter screening measures on Malaysians and Singaporeans flying in to the country in a bid to thwart drug smuggling attempts.
The new screening procedures would have plainclothes enforcement officers making rounds at airports and allow them to perform full checks on those deemed suspicious.
State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II said that in recent discussions with the Transport Ministry, the issue of prohibited items being brought in by travelers from the two countries was becoming more prevalent.
Its managing director Budi Karya Sumadi said drug smuggling cases in particular mostly involved citizens from the neighboring countries.
“The ministry agreed that more random checks will be done on Malaysians and Singaporeans coming into Indonesia,” he said in a statement, as quoted by Malaysian national news service Bernama.
He added that the company had yet to implement the additional measures, as it was still waiting for official notification.
In response to the news, Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia, Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, told Bernama that Malaysians need not panic over the tighter monitoring and more comprehensive inspections on Malaysians and Singaporeans.
He said that the measures were merely normal security procedures.
Besides drug trafficking concerns, local authorities have been on high alert following recent attacks carried out by Islamic State militants in the Javanese city of Solo and Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
Last week, flyers warning of imminent bombings targeting travelers from Malaysia and Singapore were being distributed in the Riau archipelago.