KUALA LUMPUR: Proactive action by security forces helped to thwart numerous kidnappings attempts and acts of terror in Sabah, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the effective gathering of intelligence by the security forces also prevented the kidnappings from occuring.
"Due to security reasons, the cases were not made known to the public.
"I can inform the Dewan that there were many acts of terror and kidnappings that did not materialise due to the proactive preventive action by our security forces," he said when answering a question from Datuk Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom) in Dewan Rakyat.
Najib said one of the most effective measures to prevent the kidnappings was due to information derived from intelligence.
"It allows for the identification of the groups before they enter and if they do enter, the security forces can take proactive action to thwart their acts of terror or kidnappings," he said.
Raime wanted to know what was being done to prevent illegals from entering Sabah as some of them could be criminals.
Najib assured lawmakers that the Government has taken concrete steps to shore up security presence and capabilities in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone following the Lahad Datu intrusion three years ago.
"However, we must continue to be vigilant to prevent intrusions and threats of kidnap for ransom as it could happen if we let our guard down," he said.
He noted that there has been no kidnap for ransom cases in Sabah since the last incident on May 14 last year.
Najib said that equipment and personnel have been beefed up at island security posts.
"We have also increased the number of vessels of varying types to 85 from 39 previously," he said adding that 92 more vessels are being acquired to cover any gaps along the coastal waters within the security area.
Besides the establishment of forward sea bases, he said, one General Operation Force battalion and one army battalion would be formed to bolster security in eastern Sabah.