Sabah kidnap: Blame Jolo's lawlessness

Sabah kidnap: Blame Jolo's lawlessness
Tourists take cover on the floor next to an overturned table as armed men occupy a hotel in Sabah, April 2, 2014.

If you ask our security forces whether Sabah's east coast is safe from armed intrusion or cross-border kidnapping, they will confidently tell you that it is safe.

And when you ask them whether they are 100 per cent confident, they will tell you the state is 99.9999 per cent safe.

Our security forces were right. On Wednesday, the 0.0001 per cent happened.

At 10.30pm, in a five-minute raid, Filipino gunmen grabbed Filipina resort worker Marcy Dayawan, 40, from her room before seizing Gao Huayun, a 29-year-old tourist from China.

When news of the kidnapping in Singamata Reef Resort, off Semporna town, broke out, the first thing in most Malaysians' mind was "again?".

About four months ago in November, Filipino gunmen murdered a Taiwanese man and kidnapped his wife while they were holidaying in Pom Pom island. The woman was released from captivity on Jolo island in southern Philippines after ransom was paid.

Many Malaysians are angry that a cross-border kidnapping happened again. Their fingers are pointed at our security forces who have failed to prevent it again.

Their finger-pointing is justified as better intelligence gathering and tighter security measures could have prevented the incident.

Sabahans are also pointing their fingers at their state's illegal immigrant problem. Rightly so as 15 Singamata Reef Resort workers did not possess valid travel documents. The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Sabah's illegal immigrants revealed that many of these non-Malaysians had MyKad.

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