Anger over island of the 'White Rajahs'

Anger over island of the 'White Rajahs'
Some China tourists arriving at the Semporna jetty after snorkelling at one of the nearby islands.

SEMPORNA - Several Caucasians working at diving resorts operating in Pulau Pom Pom have become a stumbling block to security in the border waters off this town on Sabah's east coast.

They work either as senior resort management staff or dive masters but behave like "White Rajahs" who own the island, according to General Operations Forces personnel and journalists covering the killing of a Taiwanese tourist and kidnapping of his partner at the Pom Pom Island Resort last Friday.

GOF personnel based on the island have had bitter experiences with the "white guys" at the resort and complained that they were restricted from entering the premise even to buy food.

"We were told they did not want their guests to see us carrying weapons and that we should keep out of the resort area," said a GOF man who had to depend on daily foodstuff brought from Semporna town, a 45-minute boat ride away.

The general feeling among the GOF units was that the Caucasian management staff "looked down" on them and didn't want them anywhere near the resort.

"How are we going to secure the area if you confine us to only our outpost?" he added.

When journalists from several media organisations went to the resort on Saturday, they were told that no visitors were allowed in but only guests as it was a private property.

A woman photographer was shouted at by a Caucasian who ordered her to delete the shots taken at the resort. The team of journalists was later shown the way out of the jetty by another Caucasian manager.

He told them all visitors required written permission to enter the resort area.

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