LAST_UPDATEThu, 26 Apr 2018 8am

Tighter Security In 48 Hours

Pic:NSTPic:NSTKUALA LUMPUR: IMMEDIATE measures will be taken to tighten the security on Sabah’s east coast, especially in Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna and Sandakan.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, said security measures to be enforced at the hot spots in the next 48 hours include increasing police and navy personnel, increasing assets, community policing and a curfew at designated sea routes.

“Immediate action is important to ensure the safety of the people and that the designated routes are not misused by intruders or criminals,” he said after a discussion with stakeholders yesterday.

The discussion chaired by Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi included stakeholders of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) security forces comprising the police, Armed Forces and Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

Khalid said police would add another 330 policemen and 350 Malaysian Armed Forces personnel at resorts and fish farms.

“We will announce a curfew of the designated sea routes in 48 hours.”

He said aircrafts would be placed at hot spots to attend to distress calls faster.

Meanwhile, Khalid said the murder of a policeman and the kidnapping of another in Mabul by militants on Saturday, showed militants were a serious threat to Malaysia’s sovereignty.

“They are very serious in challenging us. We are prepared to face them and will come up with measures to quell them, to save and protect the people and their property.”

He said discussions were on-going with stakeholders and enforcement agencies involved in Esszone to formulate a plan of action while reviewing the standard operating procedure (SOP).

“We know they are intruders intent on kidnapping tourists and workers at the island resorts.

“That is why we are prepared to shoot them if challenged to do so. However, we will carry out a study to formulate the SOP to avoid harming innocent civilians in the area, as it is populated by fishermen.”

It was reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had wanted a clear SOP to be put in place before security forces were given the authority to “shoot on sight.”

This followed a call by Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar for security forces to be given the power to shoot any suspicious targets seen encroaching Sabah waters.