Wednesday, July 15

Raising security forces’ preparedness to prevent intrusion of Sabah waters


Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will ensure a higher level of preparedness of the security forces in safeguarding the state’s waters against intrusion and other threats.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who is also Sabah Security Committee chairman, said the measure was important to ensure public safety and for the state to be free of any threats such as cross-border crime, particularly kidnapping.

“Such an issue (transborder crime) is not a new thing (happening in Sabah). However, what is important is raising our capability in tackling the problem and what’s more, Sabah receives many tourists always.

“We will give confidence to (tourists on security in Sabah) and I will be calling (for a meeting) of the State Security Committee on efforts to ensure that Sabah is a safe place to visit not just for domestic visitors but also foreign tourists.

“We do not want an impression from outsiders that Sabah is not a safe place.”

Mohd Shafie said this when asked to comment on a statement made by Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador on the Abu Sayyaf group, believed to be based in Jolo, Sulu, still being a high security threat despite the establishment of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom).

On Tuesday, Abdul Hamid in an exclusive interview with Bernama, said the militant group could launch an attack on any day and at any time.

As such, ESSCom would be restructured on the placement of security forces involving the Malaysian Armed Forces, police and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, he added.

To this, Mohd Shafie said the Sabah government would give good cooperation to the IGP in enhancing security control in the state to tackle transborder crime.

“What is important is raising our (security forces) level of preparedness. The community should also give their cooperation as ensuring security is not the job of the security forces alone as the public should also assist by giving information on the presence of undesirable elements for immediate action to be taken,” he said. – Bernama