Monday, August 10

DPM allays concerns over Sabah security


KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has allayed concerns over the security in Sabah, particularly in the state’s east coast, saying the government is constantly ensuring security in the area.

“The Malaysian government has never issued any notice on any security threat in the area. We know the situation better.

“I therefore feel that tourists need not be unduly worried when coming to Sabah. I am confident the situation there is peaceful,” he said when asked to comment on a warden notice issued by the United States Embassy on Friday.

Muhyiddin was speaking to reporters after attending a meet-the-people session at Bandar Baru Sentul here yesterday.

The notice, among others, warned of indications that criminal and terrorist groups were planning acts of violence against foreigners in eastern Sabah.

It, however, acknowledged the Malaysian government’s “increased ability to detect, deter and prevent such attacks.”

Muhyiddin said the country’s security forces would continue implementing all forms of surveillance and enforcement at the state’s borders to ensure security was under control.

He described the notice as a normal advisory issued by the United States, saying it might have been prompted by the situation in the southern Philippines.

“They may be worried that the situation there will spill over to Sabah,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Kotta Kinabalu, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the situation in the state’s east coast was under control.

The security forces in the state, he said, were vigilant in their duties and constantly patrolling the borders.

He advised the public to be conscious of their safety nevertheless.

“As far as we are concerned, Sabah is a safe place. Our security forces are always on standby and making constant patrols to ensure there are no potential threats,” he said.

Musa was responding to reporters’ queries on the issue after participating in a dialogue on the 10th Malaysia Plan here.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the notice would not hamper the arrival of foreign visitors, especially from the US, to Sabah.

“The US frequently issues warden notice from time to time; it is a much lower level than a travel advisory,” he said. — Bernama