Tuesday, July 27

Overcoming ‘dangerous’ internal threats main focus of Fifth Brigade


KOTA KINABALU: Tac­kling internal threats would be the Fifth Bri­gade’s main focus this year.

Describing it as “dan­gerous”, the Fifth Infantry Brigade Com­mander Bri­gadier Com­mander Datuk Masrani Paiman fears that if these threats such as drug abuse and the lack of skills and knowledge among his men are not over­come soon, it would affect their future perfor­mance.

“If it is possible, we would like to have zero drug abuse. The number of those involved in such activity is in fact very small but we do not want this social ill to grow … it has to be tackled before it is too late,” he told reporters after launching the Fifth Brigade’s 46th anniversary celebration at the Lok Kawi Camp near here yesterday.

Masrani stressed that last year, less than 10 men were sacked from work after the Military Court found them guilty of drug abuse.

“Most of them had asked for a second chance but we cannot tolerate such behaviour. This is serious.

“I would think it is dan­gerous now because the country is at peace. We have to settle this problem fast because we do not want this small group of people to jeopardise our performance in the future … imagine if we are at war,” he stressed.

Apart from being dis­ciplined, Masrani also encouraged his men to practise self-improvement by equipping themselves with knowledge and skills.

“We are given so many modern and new software and hardware, but it would just go to waste if we do not know how to utilise them. We will train and carry out tests. We want them to be prepared.

“In short, we do not want these negative elements to become a culture as it would affect our job formation,” he added.

Earlier in his speech, Masrani also reminded his men of the real threats – illegal immigrants and proximity to countries facing unrest – calling them to be committed and responsible when car­rying out their duties.

“We are working closely with the local authorities and other security forces such as the police and marine to protect the borders and our waters to ensure the people in Sabah can live in peace and harmony,” he said.

On another develop­ment, he said that some 100 officers and personnel were deployed to flood-hit districts throughout Sabah.

“Currently, four dis-tricts are hit by the floods – Kota Marudu, Pitas, Kota Belud and Kinabatangan, and one team is on standby in Beaufort. This is part of our services to the people,” he said.