KOTA KINABALU - Sabah has decided to review the licences of resorts found to be employing foreigners without valid work passes.
The state Cabinet, in the making the decision yesterday, gave resort operators a month to comply with provisions of the law stipulated in the licences.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the Cabinet also decided that resorts in the east coast area under Eastern Sabah Security Command should also provide full details of their foreign workers.
"They have to submit the list of their workers to Esscom for the police and Immigration to carry out security screening and vetting," he added.
The decision came in the wake of the April 2 kidnapping of two women at the Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna by Abu Sayyaf-linked gunmen.
"We want resorts to only employ workers vetted by the police and Immigration. We also want operators in the east coast to engage their own guards," Masidi said.
He did not disclose how many resorts there are in the east coast, but said there were more than 20 in Semporna alone.
He also said the state government had frozen, with immediate effect, the powers of Sabah Parks to lease areas under the statutory body for the development of resorts and private tourism activity.
Masidi said the powers would be handed over to the Cabinet which was in "the best position" to study the security issues involved in opening new resorts in Sabah Parks areas.