Measures to be imposed in Sabah waters

Measures to be imposed in Sabah waters

PETALING JAYA - A curfew and travel restrictions will be imposed in high risk areas off the coast of Sabah following the latest kidnapping, said Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman.

These measures are expected to be imposed on the waters off Lahad Datu and Sandakan soon.

The move would be an expansion of the restricted movement at the waterways off Semporna in effect since mid-April and enforced by security forces under the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) where there is no movement from dusk to dawn without permission and resorts have been ordered to stop night diving and fishing activities.

Musa said action would be taken with the implementation of Control Areas where travel would either not be allowed or restricted based on time, place and situation.

"Those entering these areas will need to get permission and a permit from the police."

He said the police would provide further details later.

Musa said designated routes would also be introduced in high risk areas, adding that: "Ships and boats will only be allowed to use these routes."

Musa, who held an emergency meeting with the State Emergency Council, also announced that forward bases would be set up in strategic areas to monitor and safeguard Sabah waters.

He said logistic ships would be used as motherships or hubs and platforms for refuelling patrol boats to cut down on time and cost.

He said there would be changes in the structure and organisation of Esscom, adding that an improved radar system would also be introduced. "We will also improve the capabilities of security forces specifically in terms of logistics such as speed boats," he added.

Musa said greater psychological initiatives and psychological warfare would be employed to instill awareness among the people that they are the first line of defence.

He added that Esscom communications and Standard Operation Procedures would be improved to ensure information was channelled quickly to all security agencies.

Musa said kidnappings were a major concern and must be stopped at all cost.

As chief minister and chairman of the state security council, he said it was his responsibility to ensure the safety of all Sabahans and visitors.

"Therefore I urge the public, particularly those living in the east coast of Sabah, to cooperate with authorities to ensure security," he said.


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