PUTRAJAYA - Procuring assets and equipment to boost security in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) tops the Home Ministry's agenda for next year.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the procurement would be for the police, who have been given the responsibility to jointly handle Esszone with the defence forces.
He said procuring latest equipment and assets for the police was also part of the modernisation plan for the force.
"I am confident Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will give due attention and consideration to the need to better equip the police in the coming budget.
"Esszone is a very big area to protect and the latest equipment and assets will boost safety," he said after addressing the ministry's monthly assembly here yesterday.
On a separate matter, Dr Ahmad Zahid said he would cooperate with police and has given his statement over claims that he uttered a racist remark at the recent Pengkalan Kubor by-election which was recorded by the police.
"I am not a racist and I have proof that what I said was not as depicted in the police report.
"I have the audio and video recordings of my speech," he said when asked to comment on the statement by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar that police would record his statement.
According to news reports, police had started investigations into a report lodged by Rasah MP Teo Kok Seong that the Umno vice-president had incited racial sentiments by claiming at a ceramah that DAP had tried to pit the Chinese against the Malays during the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis.
Dr Ahmad Zahid insisted that his speech was misconstrued by the journalist whose article was used as the basis for the police report.
"I can take action against the journalist who wrote differently from what I said, and I can also take action against the news portal or newspaper if what was written is different from the recording of my speech."